With free agency set to begin later this month, Redskins.com previews the 2018 NFL free agent class position-by-position. Today's focus is on the wide receivers.
It was a free agency splash that the Washington Redskins had hoped would help fill the voids left by the departed DeSean Jackson and Pierre Garçon. In the first 24 hours of free agency opening last year, the Redskins signed quarterback-turned-wide receiver Terrelle Pryor Sr. to a one-year deal.
While Pryor had to make a mid-career switch from passer to pass catcher, the 6-foot-4, 228 pounder recorded more than 1,000 receiving yards in a breakout season for the Cleveland Browns in 2016.
From the get-go, it looked as if Pryor was going to fit in with Washington’s offense, as he made highlight reel catches over and over again during training camp. But the 28-year-old struggled to translate it over to the regular season before a Week 2 ankle injured lingered in his final eight outings.
Before being placed on Injured Reserve in November, the Ohio State product recorded just 20 receptions for 240 yards and one touchdown.
“It is a tough year, you know? It is a tough year,” Pryor said in November. “It’s not what I want, not what everybody wants, but at the same time it happens. It’s what it is, you know?
“I’m just going to come and compete, man, and whatever next year brings me, it brings me,” he continued.
Along with Pryor, the Redskins also signed veteran Brian Quick to a one-year deal in free agency. The Appalachian State product was mostly a reserve on offense, recording just six catches for 76 yards in 11 games. Quick did, however, haul in a key 31-yard grab that helped the Redskins score a late touchdown in a victory over the Seattle Seahawks.
Outside of those two pickups last year, 2014 fifth-round pick Ryan Grant is also approaching free agent status.
After waiting in the wings for the majority of his first three seasons, the Tulane product got his first crack at a bigger role in 2017 and took advantage of his reps, recording 45 receptions for 573 yards and four touchdowns.
Grant had the game-winning touchdown late against the Los Angeles Rams in Week 2 and also hauled in a 40-yard touchdown against the New Orleans Saints in Week 11.
If the Redskins elect to tap into the free agent pool of wide receivers once again, here are some of the players that could be available to them via Rotoworld.com:
- Allen Robinson
- Sammy Watkins
- Marqise Lee
- Paul Richardson
- Terrelle Pryor
- Mike Wallace
Jordan Matthews * John Brown * Kendall Wright * Albert Wilson * Eric Decker * Donte Moncrief * Danny Amendola * Taylor Gabriel * Bruce Ellington * Brice Butler * Cody Latimer * Jaron Brown * Michael Floyd * Brian Quick * Tavarres King * Michael Campanaro * Deonte Thompson * Dontrelle Inman * Jeff Janis * Ryan Grant * T.J. Jones * Louis Murphy * De’Anthony Thomas * Justin Hunter * Andre Roberts * Kamar Aiken * Brenton Bersin * Arrelious Benn * Brandon Tate * Jeremy Butler * Brittan Golden * Harry Douglas
Two of the younger options that are currently set the open market (and have shown to be productive already) are Allen Robinson and Sammy Watkins.
Robinson, 24, was a second-round pick for the Jacksonville Jaguars in the 2014 NFL Draft. After recording nearly 550 receiving yards and two touchdowns in 10 games as a rookie, Robinson exploded in 2015.
In 16 starts, the Penn State product recorded 1,400 receiving yards and 14 touchdowns on 80 receptions. Robinson recorded at least 100 receiving yards in six different games and more than 150 receiving yards three times.
Robinson, however, suffered a torn ACL in Jacksonville’s regular season opener last September and missed the final 15 games.
Watkins, meanwhile, has recorded 192 receptions for 3,052 yards and 25 touchdowns in four seasons in the NFL. After spending three years with the Buffalo Bills, the 24-year-old was traded to the Rams last year. During the 2017 campaign with Los Angles, Watkins registered 39 receptions for 593 yards and eight scores.
As for some vertical threats, Paul Richardson, Albert Wilson and Mike Wallace are also set to become unrestricted free agents.
Like Grant, Richardson finally got the chance to start last season as he tallied 44 receptions for 703 yards and six touchdowns while Wilson recorded 554 receiving yards and three touchdowns in 13 games.
As for Wallace, the 31-year-old has thee 1,000-yard seasons under his belt and has recorded at least 700 receiving yards in all but one year in his career.