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2019 Free Agency Preview: Wide Receivers


With free agency set to begin in mid-March, previews the 2019 NFL free agent class position-by-position. Today's focus starts with the wide receivers.

Last offseason, the Redskins spent big on acquiring free agent wide receiver Paul Richardson. He and 2016 first-round draft pick Josh Doctson, who has played a larger role each of the past two seasons, are set to return for 2019. Cam Sims, Jehu Chesson, Robert Davis, Darvin Kidsy and "Mr. Irrelevant" Trey Quinn all have contracts for next season, too, although not all are guaranteed.

Three Redskins wide receivers are set to hit free agency, with the biggest name being Jamison Crowder. Crowder, a fourth-round pick in 2015, spent the first four years of his career with the Redskins, where he was one of the best wide receivers on the roster. Maurice Harris and Michael Floyd are both in line to become free agents.

Here are the top five free agents at the position, along with other notables, below.

Golden Tate

Any team looking for consistent production and a downfield threat should make sure they have Tate's number on speed dial when free agency begins.

Tate caught 90 or more passes in four of his past five seasons, but he's also gone for 1,000 yards or more in three of those five seasons. Although spending 2018 with two different franchises, Detroit and Philadelphia, Tate produced 74 catches, totaling 795 yards with four touchdowns.

In one of Tate's most recent games, the Eagles playoff matchup against Chicago, the 5-foot-10 receiver caught five passes for 46 yards, which included the game-winning touchdown with under one minute left to play. Tate turns 31 on Aug. 2.

Tyrell Williams

Williams finished the 2018 season with 41 catches for 653 yards and five touchdowns. After adding Paul Richardson Jr. last offseason, the Redskins have their downfield threat.

But in today's NFL, you can never have enough receivers that can stretch a defense, as Williams' strength was the long pass, as he hauled in three touchdown passes that were 40 yards or longer.

In four years with the Chargers he totaled 155 catches for 2,530 yards and 17 touchdowns. He had his only career 1,000-yard season in 2016.

Take a look at some of the top free agent wide receivers in the NFL this offseason.

John Brown

Brown has 4.34 speed, with 40 career receptions of 20+ yards, 13 career receptions of 40+ yards, and a career yards per catch average of 15.0 yards.

In 2018 with the Ravens, Brown caught 42 passes for 715 yards (17.0 yards-per-catch) and five TDs. With the deep threat option lacking for the Redskins since the departure of DeSean Jackson, the Redskins could add Brown (28) to a wide receiver room that includes fellow speedster Paul Richardson Jr.

In the nine games before Lamar Jackson was named the starter in Baltimore, Brown had 34 catches for 601 yards and four TDs.

As Brown would provide an option to stretch the defense, his mere presence could open up the intermediate areas of the field for Josh Doctson, Jordan Reed, Vernon Davis, and the run game featuring a now healthy rookie Derrius Guice and speedster Chris Thompson.

Adam Humphries

Listed at 5-foot-11, 195 pounds, Humphries has the ideal size for today's slot receiver in the NFL.

Humphries is coming off his best season as a pro with career highs in receptions (76), yards (816) and touchdowns (five). Humphries complements great quickness with sharp routes. In particular, while with the Buccaneers, he was used often on the shallow cross route where he had a knack for finding holes in zones, similar to what Jamison Crowder offers for the Redskins.

Humphries could aid the Redskins offense in that he runs a lot of high percentage routes that wouldn't require difficult throws from whomever is under center for the Redskins in 2019. He also adds value with his YAC (yards-after-catch) ability as he totaled 434 yards in that value.

Randall Cobb

Cobb's last four seasons in Green Bay have been laced with injuries and declining production. After catching 91 passes for 1,287 yards and 12 touchdowns in 2014, Cobb has averaged 60 catches, 618 yards and only four scores during the past four years. He played in only nine games in 2018, catching 38 passes for 383 yards and two touchdowns.

Although Cobb's 2018 wasn't comparable to his best years as a pro, he did produce a pair of memorable moments. He caught the game-winning touchdown pass from Packers quarterback Aaron Rodgers to cap off an incredible comeback against the Chicago Bears in Week 1, racing 75 yards for the score. He also hauled in Rodgers' record-breaking 359th consecutive pass without an interception during a December win over the Atlanta Falcons.

Other notable free agent wide receivers: Devin Funchess, Donte Moncrief, Cole Beasley, Michael Crabtree, Demaryius Thomas, Josh Gordon

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