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Free-agent wish list: Wide receiver

this is a discussion within the Saints Community Forum; (Mike Triplett) The wide receiver position has become an even greater priority for the New Orleans Saints now that they are parting ways with both receiver Lance Moore and pass-catching running back Darren Sproles. The draft is probably the Saints’ ...

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Old 03-10-2014, 09:09 AM   #1
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(Mike Triplett)
The wide receiver position has become an even greater priority for the New Orleans Saints now that they are parting ways with both receiver Lance Moore and pass-catching running back Darren Sproles.

The draft is probably the Saints’ best bet for finding a dynamic young athlete who could develop into a future starter -- and ideally help stretch the field in the short term as part of the rotation. This is a deep class for wide receiver talent, so the Saints could have ample options in Round 1 or the middle rounds of the draft.

But the Saints always prefer to fill their pressing needs in free agency. So I could see them adding a No. 3-type receiver with speed or shiftiness. And an ability to return kicks would be a major plus.


I picked ESPN Scouting Insider Matt Williamson's brain for a few suggestions that could fit that mold. And I particularly loved his suggestion of Kansas City Chiefs receiver/runner/returner Dexter McCluster -- a guy who could help fill both voids by himself.

McCluster has taken turns as a running back, receiver, kick returner and punt returner at different times in his first four NFL seasons. Last season he made the Pro Bowl as a punt returner. And he could be a dangerous weapon in the hands of Saints coach Sean Payton.

“I think he would be a good fit,” Williamson said. “Most teams, he might turn into nothing. But I think Payton and (Drew) Brees would use him properly.”

Williamson also thinks Carolina Panthers receiver/return man Ted Ginn Jr. could be an interesting fit in New Orleans, especially after Ginn had a bounceback season last year after underachieving for most of his seven-year career.

“He was a bust for a ninth pick in the draft (for the Miami Dolphins in 2007). But he played pretty well for Carolina. And he can fly,” Williamson said.

If the Saints want to spend a little more money on a receiver/punt returner, they might be interested in the Seattle Seahawks’ Golden Tate, a yards-after-the-catch threat who could be a lot more dangerous in New Orleans’ passing offense.

Maybe they would consider slot receiver/punt returner Julian Edelman from the New England Patriots or the Pittsburgh Steelers’ big-play threat Emmanuel Sanders, who has some kick-returning experience. And New Orleans native Jacoby Jones is a speedster who has been better so far as a kick returner than a receiver with the Baltimore Ravens -- but he could certainly provide that deep threat as a No. 3 or No. 4 receiver.

The Minnesota Vikings’ Jerome Simpson is another deep threat who could fill that No. 3 role. And Williamson mentioned a deep wild-card possibility in another former first-round underachiever -- the Indianapolis Colts' Darrius Heyward-Bey.

“Everybody hates the guy, and he isn’t a great player. But Darrius Heyward-Bey can still run,” Williamson said. “He wasn’t that big of a bust. And you could get him streaking down the sideline. And you can get him for nothing.”

There aren’t many big-name receivers available in free agency this year. The Denver Broncos' Eric Decker could command the biggest deal, and he might be too costly for the Saints. The New York Giants' Hakeem Nicks could also be costly, though he’s been plagued by injury issues.

Other receivers in the next tier or two include the Green Bay Packers' James Jones, the Arizona Cardinals' Andre Roberts, the Seahawks' Sidney Rice and the Panthers' Brandon LaFell -- plus Lance Moore, of course.

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Free-agent wish list: Wide receiver - New Orleans Saints Blog - ESPN

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Old 03-10-2014, 09:21 AM   #2
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Re: Free-agent wish list: Wide receiver

They might not have as sure of hands as Moore, but production wise, there are quite a few vets on the market that should be able to replace his numbers at a cost effective rate.

Brandon LaFell reminds me of a younger Devery Henderson. Very effective blocker that can make a big play here and there while providing some upside. He would be a good fit here especially if we're going to make the running game an emphasis next season. Last I heard, it was rumored to be something like 1 million for 1 year for his services.
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Old 03-10-2014, 09:21 AM   #3
 
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Re: Free-agent wish list: Wide receiver

Other than McCluster, why would they pay bigger $ for a WR that they could get in the draft or UDFA a lot cheaper?
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Old 03-10-2014, 10:32 AM   #4
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Re: Free-agent wish list: Wide receiver

Originally Posted by SmashMouth View Post
Other than McCluster, why would they pay bigger $ for a WR that they could get in the draft or UDFA a lot cheaper?
There is a different gamble in FA vs Drat, FA have played a few years in one or more systems and there is NFL tape, you know what you are or aren't getting, but the upside normally isn't as big unless you feel that player was coached or used poorly. The draft presents the possibility of a big unexplored upside but then there is also the risk of that guy not being able to learn the playbook or preform in the NFL as he did in College.

FA = 1M for a known
Draft = 1m for a gamble on a rock star or a dud.

In Moore's case he was good but not #1 Rock Star good so equal talent can be found that can step in and play for a lower cost.

Historically we do not gamble a lot which is why a vet like Meachem is the safe goto we normally use.

If you play stupid games, you win stupid prizes.

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Old 03-10-2014, 12:26 PM   #5
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Re: Free-agent wish list: Wide receiver

Originally Posted by papz View Post
They might not have as sure of hands as Moore, but production wise, there are quite a few vets on the market that should be able to replace his numbers at a cost effective rate.

Brandon LaFell reminds me of a younger Devery Henderson. Very effective blocker that can make a big play here and there while providing some upside. He would be a good fit here especially if we're going to make the running game an emphasis next season. Last I heard, it was rumored to be something like 1 million for 1 year for his services.
Not saying henderson is the greatest ever but he did not have the drop issues in his prime like Lafell does and as far as speed goes, I don't think it was much of contest in his prime. Henderson could torch people on a post route like nobodies business.
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Old 03-10-2014, 12:48 PM   #6
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Re: Free-agent wish list: Wide receiver

Neither had great hands but I do agree regarding their speed.
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Old 03-10-2014, 12:50 PM   #7
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Re: Free-agent wish list: Wide receiver

pass can not afford another cap cut to make space

need to do something with colston contract then we can dream
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Old 03-10-2014, 01:27 PM   #8
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Re: Free-agent wish list: Wide receiver

I'd hate to see the Chiefs lose Dex McCluster - but if they do there is no place I'd rather see him go than to the Saints. The Dex-Factor gave KC a lot to cheer for this past season.
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Old 03-10-2014, 01:32 PM   #9
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Re: Free-agent wish list: Wide receiver

I would love Emmanuel Sanders. Talk about the perfect Lance Moore replacement, he is it.
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Old 03-10-2014, 01:33 PM   #10
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Re: Free-agent wish list: Wide receiver

Golden Tate please!
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