One of the most pressing off season issues the new Browns regime needs to address is at Wide Receiver. The Browns have a couple of talented young guys in Josh Gordon and Greg Little (Little has some issues, but I believe they can be addressed with proper coaching). However, what they are clearly lacking is a lights out veteran to lead the younger guys and put up a consistent performance. So, let’s break down the best options available through free agency.
1. Wes Welker
Welker is a free agent this off season, and the Patriots may not want to pay the man. He is about as solid as they get, especially in the short field, where he eats up receptions. He’s a team first guy, has a great attitude, and has worked with the best coaches and one of the best QBs in the league. He would be a great pick up if the Browns can swing it (if N.E. doesn’t resign him).
2. Mike Wallace
After his worst pro year in 2012, all signs are that the Steelers will not pay Wallace the money he wants. When pressed about it, Steelers GM Kevin Colbert told the Pittsburgh Post Gazette, “I don’t think we have too many franchise players.” Wallace still put up solid numbers last season, 100 catches for 800 yards and 8 TDs. And what better way to meet the Steelers twice a year than with their ex star WR scorching them up and down the field?
3. Dwayne Bowe
Bowe has had a few bad seasons, but I chalk that up largely to the Chiefs lack of talent at Quarterback. He still has a lot to give, with 6 years in the league, and has the potential to bring a reliable receiver to the Browns roster. He’s an immediate upgrade at the position, and would give us solid production even while we figure out our QB situation.
4. Greg Jennings
I’m not as stuck on Jennings as a lot of Browns fans. He has seven years in the league, and the past several have been riddled with injuries. And, he’s probably on the backside of his career. Given that and the minor drama he stirred up in Green Bay, I wouldn’t pay the guy much to come here, probably less than he’s going to want. That said, as a last resort and for the right price, he is talented and experienced.