• My Scores
  • Golf
  • NFL
  • NCAA FB
  • NCAA BB
  • NBA
  • NHL
CBS Sports NFL Insider

Top 2013 NFL free agents (offense): Receivers are top targets

  •  

If your team is looking for a wide receiver, this could be a fun March. There are always caveats in free agency, and NFL rosters are littered with many a big-money bust, but this is one position where there should be an abundance of options.

Keep in mind that in general many of the names you see in these lists will not actually hit the market. Some will be franchised. Others will be re-signed by their current clubs before the league year begins March 13. So these names will be in flux, particularly some of the more attractive options. But this is as good of a guide to impending free agency as there is for now, and, on the offensive side of the ball, wide receiver will be particularly intriguing.

A year ago the Buccaneers ended up with one of the best signings of the offseason, landing stud Vincent Jackson from the Chargers. This year, teams will be clamoring for the likes of Mike Wallace, Greg Jennings, Dwayne Bowe, Wes Welker and Danny Amendola, to name a few. At this point it would be surprising if any of these guys got franchised (Bowe and Welker already were a year ago), though it would be anything but surprising if guys like Amendola and Welker were retained by their current clubs.

With the Chiefs making a coaching and GM change, the possibility of the team retaining Bowe certainly increases. He may be more amenable to sticking around with Andy Reid now running the show (and calling plays on offense). Jennings looks like his price will exceed what the receiver-heavy Packers would likely pay. And according to sources, the Steelers do not plan to franchise Wallace, just coming off his rookie deal, and do not anticipate meeting his demands in the $10 million-$11 million yearly range, though they do expect other clubs to value him there.

More on NFL
Column
Related links
NFL coverage on the go

Of the quarterbacks, many teams view Brian Hoyer as an intriguing prospect -- he finished the year with the Cardinals -- but the real meat at this position has yet to hit the market. The Eagles will make a call on releasing Michael Vick shortly after the Super Bowl; it's expected they won't bring him back at a $16.5 million tag. But until he is cut, he won't show up on a free-agent list. Similarly, the Cardinals (Kevin Kolb) and 49ers (Alex Smith) have to decide whether or not to pick up roster bonuses on their quarterbacks within days of the opening of the league year (Smith is certainly going to depart), and the Chiefs (Matt Cassel) and Raiders (Carson Palmer) could part with those quarterbacks as well, should they not be able to agree to lowered contracts.

And, obviously, there is no chance whatsoever Joe Flacco hits the market -- he will be franchised as the Ravens attempt to get him signed to a long-term deal.

Two elite left tackles stand out from the list of offensive linemen -- Ryan Clady (Broncos) and Branden Albert (Chiefs) -- but execs I talk to can't imagine their teams don't at least franchise them. The most interesting decision will be in Miami, where they might need to decide between franchising enigmatic left tackle Jake Long or emerging corner Sean Smith.

Teams don't want to spend much for running backs these days, and Rashard Mendenhall's lost season could lead to him re-signing with the Steelers on a discount. Reggie Bush's ability to make explosive plays and contribute on special teams will lead to a nice market forming for him, I'm sure, and it's highly unlikely he stays with Miami, sources said. Some of the best options at this position come with restricted free agents like Chris Ivory and LeGarrette Blount, but as we know they rarely change teams.

Future Hall of Famer Tony Gonzalez highlights the list of tight ends, but as we all know he will either stay with the Falcons or, most likely, retire. The Jets don't believe they will have the budget to keep Dustin Keller at this point, according to sources, and Fred Davis, franchised by the Redskins in 2012 but missed virtually the entire season, will have difficulty getting value considering his off-field issues and the fact he is coming off a season-ending injury. Jared Cook (Titans) is still just 25 and appears to have no future in Tennessee, though I would expect his former coach Jeff Fisher, now in St. Louis, could target him as a new weapon for young quarterback Sam Bradford.

Quarterback

1. Joe Flacco: No way he gets out of Baltimore.

2. Michael Vick: Hasn't been cut yet, but once he is, Arizona, Cleveland and others could explore.

3. Alex Smith: Also hasn't been cut yet, but could make sense in KC, Jacksonville and several other spots.

4. Brian Hoyer: Plenty of teams see him a strong No. 2 who could thrive as a spot starter.

5. Kevin Kolb: Arizona was piling up wins before he got hurt; might not hit the market.

Wide receiver

1. Greg Jennings: The injuries are something of a concern, but he has been a game-changer.

2. Dwayne Bowe: Good size and strong production despite not having good QB play. Miami makes sense.

3. Mike Wallace: Did not produce under pressure in 2012, but still so fast and so young -- he will get paid

4. Wes Welker: Have a hard time seeing him leave New England.

5. Danny Amendola: Rams badly want to keep him, as he's Sam Bradford's favorite target.

Running back/fullback

1. Rashard Mendenhall: Injuries robbed him of much of 2012, but still the most productive of this bunch.

2. Reggie Bush: Could see him signing a short-term deal with a contender. His versatility will serve him well on open market.

3. Cedric Benson: Age and injury catching up to him, but had some nice moments for the Packers. Likely another one-year deal ahead for him.

4. Danny Woodhead: Much like Wes Welker, anyone see this multifaceted weapon actually leaving Bill Belichick?

5. Jerome Felton: Fullback was a key cog in Adrian Peterson's near-record season, and guys like Vonta Leach have gotten solid money in free agency recently.

Tight end

1. Tony Gonzalez: The best to ever play the position, and still at a top level, but retirement seems to beckon.

2. Jared Cook: Wasn't always a fit in Titans offense, but young and talented and will have suitors.

3. Martellus Bennett: Had flashes of greatness with the Giants -- though still inconsistent -- and they are short on TEs.

4. Fred Davis: Incredibly talented, but troubled. Staying with the Skins and RG3 on a short-term deal might make most sense.

5. Dustin Keller: Very limited in his blocking skills, scouts say, but can catch the football.

Offensive line

1. Ryan Clady: One of the best left tackles in the game, but no way he won't be franchised to protect Peyton Manning's blindside.

2. Branden Albert: Andy Reid went through enough OL shuffling in Philly; can't imagine he lets Albert out of KC now.

3. Jake Long: Production has waned past two years and injuries have become a real issue -- but would Dolphins really let this former No. 1 overall pick walk in his mid-20s?

4. Jermon Bushrod: Key cog for the Saints, but their cap crunch could lead to big money for him on the open market.

5. Max Starks: Steelers line gets maligned at times, but at age 30 expect Starks to get action on the open market.

UNRESTRICTED FREE AGENTS

QUARTERBACKS
PlayerTeamHeightWeightAge
Daniel, ChaseNO6-022525
Edwards, TrentPHI6-423028
Flacco, JoeBLT6-623827
Beck, JohnHST6-221531
Gradkowski, BruceCIN6-122029
Moore, MattMIA6-320228
Quinn, BradyKC6-323527
Stanton, DrewIND6-323028
Thigpen, TylerBUF6-121628
Jackson, TarvarisBUF6-222529
Leinart, MattOAK6-523229
Anderson, DerekCAR6-623529
Campbell, JasonCHI6-523030
McCown, LukeATL6-421731
Schaub, MattHST6-524031
Garrard, DavidMIA6-123634
Grossman, RexWAS6-122532
Leftwich, ByronPIT6-525032
Carr, DavidNYG6-321233
Batch, CharliePIT6-221637
RUNNING BACKS
PlayerTeamHeightWeightAge
Booker, LorenzoCHI5-1019128
Goodson, MikeOAK6-021225
Greene, ShonnNYJ5-1122627
Jennings, RashadJAX6-122827
Lumpkin, KreggSEA5-1122828
Parmele, JalenJAX5-1122226
Ringer, JavonTEN5-920725
Scott, BernardCIN5-1019828
Stephens-Howling, LaRodARZ5-718525
Choice, TashardBUF5-1021227
Forsett, JustinHST5-819826
Hillis, PeytonKC6-124026
Jones, FelixDAL5-1021925
Mendenhall, RashardPIT5-1022525
Smith, KevinDET6-121725
Woodhead, DannyNE5-819527
Jackson, BrandonCLV5-1021626
Leonard, BrianCIN6-122528
Bush, ReggieMIA6-020327
Benson, CedricGB5-1122729
Brown, RonnieSD6-023030
Jacobs, BrandonSF6-426430
Moore, MeweldeIND5-1120930
FULLBACKS
PlayerTeamHeightWeightAge
Casey, JamesHST6-324027
Johnson, QuinnTEN6-126325
Phillips, JohnDAL6-526225
Felton, JeromeMIN6-024226
Schmitt, OwenOAK6-224527
Battle, JackieSD6-223828
Hall, KoreyNO6-023629
Polite, LousakaATL6-024530
McIntyre, CoreyBUF6-024733
Jones, GregJAX6-125431
TIGHT ENDS
PlayerTeamHeightWeightAge
Beckum, TravisNYG6-323425
Cook, JaredTEN6-524825
Johnson, DavidPIT6-226025
Miller, ZachJAX6-424527
Morrah, CameronSEA6-325125
Myers, BrandonOAK6-425027
O'Connell, JakeKC6-325026
Barnidge, GaryCAR6-524726
Bennett, MartellusNYG6-627525
Davis, FredWAS6-425826
Keller, DustinNYJ6-225027
Moore, EvanSEA6-624727
Humphrey, ToryOAK6-225529
Rosario, DanteSD6-425027
Fasano, AnthonyMIA6-425528
Pope, LeonardPIT6-826428
Walker, DelanieSF6-024228
Bajema, BillyBLT6-425929
Smith, AlexCLV6-425830
Hartsock, BenCAR6-427032
Watson, BenjaminCLV6-325531
Clark, DallasTB6-325233
Heller, WillDET6-627031
Lee, DonaldCIN6-424832
Shiancoe, VisantheNE6-424032
Graham, DanielNO6-325733
Heap, ToddARZ6-525232
Gonzalez, TonyATL6-524336
WIDE RECEIVERS
PlayerTeamHeightWeightAge
Amendola, DannySL5-1118626
Barden, RamsesNYG6-622726
Collie, AustinIND6-020026
Edelman, JulianNE5-1019826
Gibson, BrandonSL6-021025
Hartline, BrianMIA6-218625
Knox, JohnnyCHI6-018525
Logan, StefanDET5-618031
Massaquoi, MohamedCLV6-220725
Murphy, LouisCAR6-220025
Ogletree, KevinDAL6-118725
Reynaud, DariusTEN5-920625
Robiskie, BrianJAX6-320924
Stroughter, SammieTB5-1018926
Tate, BrandonCIN6-119524
Turner, PatrickNYJ6-522025
Wallace, MikePIT6-019926
Willis, MattDEN6-019028
Aromashodu, DevinMIN6-220128
Avery, DonnieIND5-1118328
Schilens, ChazNYJ6-422526
Spurlock, MichealSD5-1120029
Bowe, DwayneKC6-222127
Ginn, TedSF5-1118027
Hixon, DomenikNYG6-219727
Naanee, LegeduMIA6-222028
Smith, SteveSL5-1119527
Floyd, MalcomSD6-522530
Jennings, GregGB5-1119828
Roby, CourtneyNO6-018929
Cribbs, JoshuaCLV6-121529
Edwards, BraylonNYJ6-321429
Henderson, DeveryNO5-1120030
Welker, WesNE5-918531
Osgood, KassimDET6-522032
Driver, DonaldGB6-019437
Moss, RandySF6-421035
Stokley, BrandonDEN6-019236
OFFENSIVE TACKLES
PlayerTeamHeightWeightAge
Beatty, WillNYG6-631927
Britton, EbenJAX6-631024
Hilliard, CoreyDET6-630027
Loadholt, PhilMIN6-834326
Schwartz, GeoffMIN6-633126
Vollmer, SebastianNE6-831528
Albert, BrandenKC6-531627
Baker, SamATL6-530727
Cherilus, GosderDET6-732528
Clady, RyanDEN6-631525
Dunlap, KingPHI6-933026
Garner, NateMIA6-732527
Harris, RyanHST6-530027
Polumbus, TylerWAS6-830027
Richardson, BarrySL6-631926
Roland, DennisCIN6-932229
Batiste, D'AnthonyARZ6-431430
Bushrod, JermonNO6-531528
Butler, RashadHST6-430829
Justice, WinstonIND6-632027
McQuistan, PatARZ6-631929
Svitek, WillATL6-630930
Trueblood, JeremyTB6-832029
Barnes, KhalifOAK6-532530
Omiyale, FrankSEA6-431529
Black, JordanWAS6-530532
Locklear, SeanNYG6-431031
Starks, MaxPIT6-834530
Bridges, JeremyARZ6-531832
McKinnie, BryantBLT6-834332
GUARDS
PlayerTeamHeightWeightAge
Beekman, JoshJAX6-231029
Caldwell, AntoineHST6-330526
Foster, RamonPIT6-632526
Green, TyronneSD6-231626
Legursky, DougPIT6-131526
Levitre, AndyBUF6-230326
Lichtensteiger, KoryWAS6-229227
Louis, LanceCHI6-332027
Ohrnberger, RichARZ6-230026
Reynolds, GarrettATL6-731725
Rinehart, ChadBUF6-532327
Slauson, MattNYJ6-531526
Urbik, KraigBUF6-532926
Vasquez, LouisSD6-533525
Pollak, MikeCAR6-330127
Rachal, ChiloCHI6-532326
Thomas, DonaldNE6-431026
Williams, ChrisCHI6-632027
Harris, LeroyTEN6-330328
Boothe, KevinNYG6-532029
Gandy, DylanDET6-329530
Hadnot, RexSD6-231030
Lilja, RyanKC6-229030
Dockery, DerrickDAL6-632531
Moore, BrandonNYJ6-330532
Hicks, ArtisMIA6-431833
Davis, LeonardSF6-635533
Carlisle, CooperOAK6-529535
CENTERS
PlayerTeamHeightWeightAge
Richard, JameyNE6-529527
Turner, RobertSL6-430828
Berger, JoeMIN6-531130
Spencer, ChrisCHI6-330930
Faine, JeffCIN6-329131
Meester, BradJAX6-330235
McClure, ToddATL6-129635

RESTRICTED FREE AGENTS

RUNNING BACKS
PlayerTeamHeightWeightAge
Ball, LanceDEN5-921527
Blount, LeGarretteTB6-024725
Brinkley, CurtisSD5-920826
Brown, AndreNYG6-022725
Dwyer, JonathanPIT5-1122923
Ivory, ChrisNO6-022224
Ogbonnaya, ChrisCLV6-022526
Peerman, CedricCIN5-921125
Redman, IsaacPIT6-023027
Smith, AntoneATL5-919026
Williams, EddieCLV6-124225
Williams, KeilandDET5-1122326
TIGHT ENDS
PlayerTeamHeightWeightAge
Crabtree, TomGB6-424526
Cumberland, JeffNYJ6-426025
Dickson, EdBLT6-425025
Mastrud, JeronMIA6-625324
Palmer, MichaelATL6-526024
Pascoe, BearNYG6-528326
Paulsen, LoganWAS6-526825
Pitta, DennisBLT6-424527
Potter, ZachJAX6-728026
Rucker, MartinKC6-524827
WIDE RECEIVERS
PlayerTeamHeightWeightAge
Armstrong, AnthonyMIA5-1118529
Arrington, AdrianNO6-319226
Banks, BrandonWAS5-715524
Cruz, VictorNYG6-220425
Jones, DonaldBUF6-020924
Moore, MarlonMIA6-019025
Nelson, DavidBUF6-521525
Reed, DavidBLT6-019025
Sanders, EmmanuelPIT5-1118025
Williams, StephenARZ6-520826
OFFENSIVE TACKLES
PlayerTeamHeightWeightAge
Clark, ChrisDEN6-530526
Fox, JasonDET6-730324
Gardner, AndrewHST6-630526
Harewood, RamonBLT6-634025
Howard, AustinNYJ6-733325
Linkenbach, JeffIND6-631125
Wang, EdOAK6-531225
CENTERS
PlayerTeamHeightWeightAge
Costa, PhilDAL6-331125

Before joining CBS Sports, Jason La Canfora was the Washington Redskins beat writer for The Washington Post for six years and served as NFL Network's insider. The Baltimore native can be seen every Sunday during the season on The NFL Today.
  •  
 

Biggest Stories

CBSSports Facebook Google Plus
COMMENTS
Conversation powered by Livefyre
 

Latest

Most Popular

CBSSports.com Shop