Related Tags: Antonio Brown
The free agency period doesn't offiically begin until March 13, but what happens between now and then with Steelers' wide receiver Antonio Brown could have a dramatic influence on the whole market. While Brown isn't a free agent, there is clear indication that he could be moved in a trade. In fact, Brown recently announced his new demands on Twitter. So if in fact the Steelers trade Brown, that's one less team in search for a top receiver. With the exception of Brown, here are the top five wide receivers to hit free agency this season.
1. Golden Tate
The Eagles brought in Tate in a trade midway through last season. While his talent is abundant, for some reason he never fit into the Eagles scheme as much as he or anyone else anticipated. He came on late and had the game winning touchdown catch against the Bears in the Wild Card round, but it seems apparent the Eagles wont resign Tate. His overall numbers last season, while down, were still very good (74, receptions, 795 yards, four touchdowns). He is most likely past his prime at 31 years old, but he remains in top shape and likely has several more productive years ahead of him. Many teams should have interest in Tate.
2. Cole Beasley
Beasley has made a career out of being the slot receiver that come up with big catches to move the stick. He's done that for seven seasons in Dallas. He caught 65 for 672 yards and three touchdowns in 2018 with a catch percentage of 74.7. He exceeded his 2018 total in receptions and yards only once, both in 2016. If a team is looking for a number one receiver, then Beasley isn't their man. However, a team in need of a dependable number two or three slot receiver will give Beasley a hard look this free agency period.
3. John Brown
The fifth-year receiver averaged 17 yards per catch this past season with the Ravens. He set a career high in receptions, yards and touchdowns with the Cardinals in 2015. He thrived mostly with Joe Flacco at quarterback and appears best suited for a team that likes to air it out. A run-oriented team likely will not be in pursuit of Brown. His talents are his big play capability. Brown will e 29 years old soon, but was 24 in his rookie season, so he likely has plenty of productive football left in him.
Humphries has increased his production each of his four years in the NFL. This past season he hauled in 76 passes for 816 yards and five touchdowns. Humphries has put together and impressive career so far as an undrafted free agent. Perhaps he has benefited from a pass happy offense like the Bucs. Look for a big jump in pay for Humphries by a team that is pass oriented first and foremost.
Williams had his best season in 2016 when he was a starter following a Keenan Allen injury when he had 69 receptions for 1059 yards and seven touchdowns. Williams has seen his production drop over the last two seasons with Allen back as the starter. However, Williams is an attractive option for a team in need of a number one. He has proven he can be the main man who can stretch a defense (16.3 yards per reception). Just now entering his prime at age 27, Williams could be the steal of the wide receivers available.