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Need to Know: Five free agent wide receivers the Redskins could target

Jan 21, 2014, 4:45 AM EDT

Golden-Tate

Here is what you need to know on this Tuesday, January 21, 49 days before NFL free agency starts.

Nickel coverage

Let’s take a look at five receivers the Redskins could pursue in free agency:

1. Julian Edelman, NE (2013 stats 105 rec/1056 yds/6 TDs)—Santana Moss is unlikely to be back and Edelman is quite capable of playing Moss’ slot position. Jay Gruden’s Bengals generally employed bigger receivers and Edelman has decent height at 6-feet even (correction: most have Edelman listed at 5-10).

2. Jerome Simpson, MIN (48/726/1)—Jay Gruden has some good information on him as he was the Bengals’ offensive coordinator when Simpson was there. He has had some off-field issues running afoul of the NFL’s substance-abuse policy that might make some teams shy away. They also could drive down his asking price.

3. Golden Tate, SEA (64/898/5)—We can add punt returns to his stat line here as he brought back 51 punts for an average of 11.5 yards. That’s not a spectacular average but it would have represented a quantum leap in production from what the Redskins had in 2013. Tate may be a bit too costly for the Redskins this year but the return skills could justify overpaying for him.

4. James Jones, GB (59/817/3)—Jones will be 30 before the season starts and hemay have lost a step so he would have to come at a reduced rate. He certainly appears to have something left in the tank; he’s just a season removed from a 14-touchdown season in 2012.

5. Andrew Hawkins, CIN (12/199/0)—There are a few issues here—he wasn’t very productive last year, he’s only 5-7 and he’s a restricted free agent. But he does bring an element of speed, something the Redskins don’t have enough of. And he did have a very productive 2012 season (51/533/4) so he has demonstrated that he can get it done. If they tender him at a level that doesn’t require any compensation, Gruden may encourage Bruce Allen to make a bid for him.

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Timeline

—It’s been 23 days since the Redskins played a game; it will be about 229 days until they play another one.

Days until: NFL Combine 29; Offseason workouts start 76; NFL Draft 107

In case you missed it

  1. O - Jan 21, 2014 at 5:54 AM

    Edelman is the only receiver I’m remotely interested in bringing in. Honestly, I think we should focus on bringing in a guy who can play opposite of Pierre unless Aldrick Robinson is that guy.

  2. Shawn - Jan 21, 2014 at 7:10 AM

    Too bad Julian Edelman ain’t 6feet tall… He’s 5’10″ and good luck prying him away from my Patriots lol never happen

    • Rich Tandler - Jan 21, 2014 at 7:15 AM

      I’m going off of Pro Football Reference for the height: http://www.pro-football-reference.com/players/E/EdelJu00.htm

      But I do see him listed at 5-10 elsewhere. The Redskins do need a slot guy assuming Moss is gone; he’s just about the only player who lined up there last year.

    • Cody - Jan 21, 2014 at 8:39 PM

      Same can be said for the Golden boy. Especially if they win the bowl.

  3. Chuck Puryear - Jan 21, 2014 at 7:13 AM

    Edelman is the only one if these guys I’d consider. He’s quick, tough, and runs good routes. He’s also a top notch returner.

  4. everyoneholdsorakpo - Jan 21, 2014 at 8:26 AM

    Looking at this list makes me sure that Allen will pick a WR in the 2nd rd. None of these guys represent a big improvement over last years crew. Edelman benefits greatly from Brady. Tate would be an upgrade, but at what cost. Please don’t spend the bank on this guy. Simpson is another drug addict waiting to fall of the wagon. Hawkins is restricted, no thanks. Jones is no better than Hankerson. I say draft the fastest, biggest WR available with our first pick. Use free agency to address defense.

  5. washbaltfan - Jan 21, 2014 at 10:56 AM

    Amen to the other commenters– Edelman is the only one of these worth getting. The rest are too reminiscent of Josh Morgan/ Brandon Lloyd (as he played for us)-type acquisitions.

  6. pkevinenns - Jan 21, 2014 at 12:20 PM

    If memory serves me right, Tate was more or less a non-factor on Sunday.
    However, he contributed 64 catches, 898 yds and 3 TDs in the regular season.
    That is WAY ahead of our J.Morgan’s 20-214-0, who was our #2 receiver, in fact we can put a few of our guys in and not get to Tate’s numbers.
    I couldn’t find accurate individual records for drops (asking the wife for PFF subscription for Valentines Day – that’s romantic!) but Seattle as a team had 3.2% dropped passes vs. our Redskins 5.3%.
    If Tate IS a part of his team’s #4 ranked we-catch-the-ball offense (we are #26), I think he’d be worth looking at.
    And given our team’s combined 6.4 yd/punt return average, making the field 5 yards shorter on every exchange also sounds very good to me!
    IF Harvin does come back, and with Baldwin’s rise, could Tate be a little more affordable too?
    We do not need a huge playmaker, Garcon IS that guy…just a consistent #2 who can open up more room for Pierre and Jordan, plus help with blocking for AlMo and Helu.

    So here is my question to the group:
    What level can our Coaching take receivers? I have been bummed by Morgan’s failure to thrive just like I was with Brandon Lloyd. Is it us, i.e. our coaching that is not getting the best out of those kind of guys? If so where on earth did garcon’s season come from? Was it because there was simply nobody else to throw to?

    • jaxjoe - Jan 21, 2014 at 8:45 PM

      You’re on the right track. It’s all about catching the ball. I think Morgan and Moss’ production drop was a result of RG3 not having the confidence in them. Look at how many opportunities Reed got when it was known how well he caught the ball. I honestly don’t put much weight in speed… well 40 yd dash speed, that is. Quickness to get open and very good hands makes a better receiver between the 20′s. Then go to your specialty players in the red zone.

  7. timwillhidetimwillhide - Jan 21, 2014 at 1:12 PM

    My 5 would be Emmanuel Sanders, Jeremy Maclin, Derious Heyward-bey, Jacobe Ford, and Ted Ginn. I think Sanders is ready to bresk out and has bin solid for the Steelers. Maclin is proven and Heyward-Bey fills that large reciever role. Ford and Ginn would be great return guys and backup WRs with great speed.

  8. redskinscaio - Jan 21, 2014 at 3:22 PM

    I wouldn’t take any of the five wide receivers mentioned. Moss is better than all those guys. Ted Ginn is also a better option and so is Jeremy Maclin. Hope the Skins bring back Moss for one more season.

  9. nomaan78 - Jan 21, 2014 at 3:55 PM

    Bigger please. We need a big guy that can go and get it. A red zone threat to score everytime we are in the red zone. Kind of like AJ Green, Brandon Marshall, Megatron. I like Hakeem Nicks, Darrius Heyward Bey, Kelvin Benjamin from florida state. I hope Hankerson can stay healthy for once because he has potential. Just waiting to see how this offseason and the draft unfold. HTTR!!

    • josh - Jan 21, 2014 at 5:04 PM

      I like Kenny Britt hes tall young and can come cheap. You cant judge his numbers off last year BC the coaches wouldnt play him. My list goes 1. Edelman great slot WR and return man. ,2 Kenny Britt BC of size and price 3 H Nicks- again good size but has injury problems. 4- Jeremy Maclin good combo of size and speed 5- Ted Ginn great return man and slot or #3 wr. I think we should bring back Moss one more year and sign one big wr and maybe a slot WR.

  10. bomyea24 - Jan 22, 2014 at 3:50 PM

    HAKEEM NICKS!!!!! He still has game and would be the PERFECT complement to Pierre!!!! Also, I don’t think he would be a big cap hit either. GET HAKEEM NICKS!!!!

  11. ray - Jan 23, 2014 at 6:34 AM

    Jeremy maclin /ted ginn are best options..

    • ray - Jan 23, 2014 at 6:36 AM

      Hakeem nicks would be great if not franchised tagged by NY

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