With free agency set to begin in March, Redskins.com's Stephen Czarda and Jake Kring-Schreifels preview the 2017 NFL free agent class position-by-position. Today's focus is on the wide receivers.
Aside from the quarterback position, the most uncertainty the Redskins face this year when it comes to their own free agents is at wide receiver.
As has been well documented, Washington must decide what to do with Rob Kelley and Jamison Crowder, both of whom compiled 1,000-yard receiving seasons in 2016 and will become unrestricted free agents on March 9.
The duo played a large factor in why the Redskins' offense continued to look prolific on paper, racking up yards for quarterback Trent Williams, who benefited from Garçon's toughness and security with the football as well as Jackson's speed down the field, taking the tops off defenses.
Last season marked the first time the Redskins had a pair of 1,000-yard receivers in the same season since 1999, when Albert Connell and Michael Westbrook achieved the feat.
"I've been around a long time and I've been around a lot of talk," Garçon said in January. "Like I said, January to March is a lot of different conversations, and things happen and stuff happens around the league that you can't control. You just have to at the end of the day give 100 percent effort on the field and teams go back and look at the plays and scout our performance all year and that's all I can control – my effort when I play and when I have the ball."
As for Jackson, the Cal product hasn't seemed to lose a step at 30 years old, and said recently he'd preferably like to return to Washington, where he has established some roots.
"The biggest thing for me is that my production on the field speaks for itself," Jacksons said. "I do want to still be here, my family and my house. I have everything here and I don't want to be in a transaction and move. First things first I do want to be here and hopefully we can make it work but once again this is a business so things happen. I'm just really excited about the opportunity I have to sit and now the balls in my corner a little bit and see what we can do."
If both depart, the Redskins will still have Jamison Crowder and Jordan Reed as top receiving targets, followed by the potential of last year's first round pick Josh Doctson, who missed most of the season on Injured Reserve. Ryan Grant and Maurice Harris remain as options who saw time on the active roster last season as well.
Here is a list of the wide receivers currently scheduled to become unrestricted free agents at 4 p.m. ET March 9, via NFL.com:
- Jeremy Ross, Arizona Cardinals
- Eric Weems, Atlanta Falcons
- Aldrick Robinson, Atlanta Falcons
- Kamar Aiken, Baltimore Ravens
- Percy Harvin, Buffalo Bills
- Justin Hunter, Buffalo Bills
- Robert Woods, Buffalo Bills
- Ted Ginn Jr., Carolina Panthers
Take a look at photos of free agent wide receiver Kenny Britt.
Brenton Bersin, Carolina Panthers * Alshon Jeffery, Chicago Bears * Deonte Thompson, Chicago Bears * Marquess Wilson, Chicago Bears * Brandon LaFell, Cincinnati Bengals * Terrelle Pryor, Cleveland Browns * Terrance Williams, Dallas Cowboys * Brice Butler, Dallas Cowboys * Jordan Norwood, Denver Broncos * Marlon Brown, Marlon Brown * Anquan Boldin, Detroit Lions * Andre Roberts, Detroit Lions * Bryan Walters, Jacksonville Jaguars * Kenny Britt, Los Angeles Rams * Brian Quick, Los Angeles Rams * Stedman Bailey, Los Angeles Rams * Kenny Stills, Miami Dolphins * Cordarrelle Patterson, Minnesota Vikings * Michael Floyd, New England Patriots * Andre Holmes, Oakland Raiders * Michael Johnson, Philadelphia Ealges * Markus Wheaton, Pittsburgh Steelers * Jeremy Kerley, San Francisco 49ers * Rod Streater, San Francisco 49ers * Quinton Patton, San Francisco 49ers * Vincent Jackson, San Diego Chargers * Russell Shepard, Tampa Bay Buccaneers * Cecil Shorts, Tampa Bay Buccaneers * Kendall Wright, Tennessee Titans * Marc Mariani, Tennessee Titans * Pierre Garçon, Washington Redskins * DeSean Jackson, Washington Redskins
Arguably the most attractive name on that list, aside from the Redskins' own players, is Alshon Jeffery, who has missed 11 games over the last two seasons. Still, the 6-foot-3, 218 pound receiver is just 27 years old and remains a top target when on the field.
Last season he played 12 games and caught 52 passes for 821 yards and two touchdowns. Teams with interest would like to take advantage of his size in the red zone and hope he can return to his breakout years in 2013 and 2014, in which he compiled a combined 174 receptions, 2,554 yards and 17 touchdowns.
Another intriguing name is Terelle Pryor, who just completed his first season full-time as a wide receiver with the Browns.
Take a look at photos of free agent wide receiver Alshon Jeffery.
The Ohio State product spent his first four seasons trying to make it as a quarterback in the league, but found a new opportunity at receiver in 2016. Pryor used his size – 6-foot-4, 223 pounds -- to his advantage, breaking out with 77 receptions, 1,007 yards and four touchdowns along with a rushing touchdown.
Meanwhile, Kenny Britt answered the call in his contract year with the Rams, eclipsing 1,000 yards for the first time in his career. In 15 games, he caught 68 passes for five touchdowns and, as the team's leading receiver, tallied two games with more than 100 yards receiving.
Another intriguing name is Brandon LaFell, a seven-year veteran who spent last season with the Bengals after two years with the Patriots.
LaFell was durable, playing in all 16 games for Cincinnati, and caught 64 passes for 862 yards and six touchdowns. He also is secure with the football, only fumbling once in his career.
2017 Free Agency Outlooks: