By Ben Standig
Outside of quarterback, adding a playmaking wide receiver arguably stands atop the Redskins needs list. In theory, there should be plenty of explosively talented options available on the free agent market..
In theory, the Redskins will have an opportunity to add a significant pass catcher, the kind that would go help smooth out a young quarterback’s transition from college to the pros or enhance a veteran passer’s ability to succeed.
If all the latest reports are accurate, if the consensus proves spot on, the shelf of high-end receivers from which the Redskins will shop could suddenly prove sparse.
* The Chiefs will do what is necessary to keep Dwayne Bowe – arguably the top all every down threat in the bunch – in Kansas City.
* The Eagles are reportedly ready to slap the franchise tag on DeSean Jackson, one of several players with a significant combustible risk factor any new employer must consider
* Saints management figures to be working the numbers so Drew Brees and his only legitimate wide out Marques Colston stay in the Big Easy.
* Stevie Johnson is saying all the right things about wanting to re-up with the Bills and joins the aforementioned names plus the Steelers Mike Wallace as those likely to receive franchise player status.
Take those names off the board and the Redskins become pitted against other receiver-needy teams in a fierce battle for what is left.
So, what is left?
Of the potential big names, the physically gifted Vincent Jackson appears to be the best bet to reach free agency. With his highlight making ability, I am betting “sign Vincent Jackson” becomes the battle cry for Redskins fans who correctly believe this team should add a consistent number one receiver - but do not grasp Jackson’s inconsistent ways as a game-in, game-out player. The Chargers receiver probably offers the greatest risk-reward variance at this position
It’s hard to imagine Brandon Lloyd being open to another gig in this area. Unless Peyton Manning shows up in Ashburn, not sure why Reggie Wayne would or should. Do not let Mario Manningham’s special Super Bowl cloud your judgment. His inconsistent ways opened the door for Victor Cruz to salsa through and have Alvin Harper written all over him.
Moving deeper down the list, intriguing players like the Colts Pierre Garcon and the Cowboys Laurent Robinson exist, but they appear to be complementary receiver types. Drop down further and the idea of sticking with Santana Moss, Jabar Gaffney and Leonard Hankerson appears palatable, even though it’s not.
Now, let’s go back to last year. Many faulted the Redskins for not signing Matt Hasselbeck, the only obviously viable free agent quarterback. This sentiment ignored the facts that other teams also desired the clear-cut top available veteran quarterback and that blaming the team for not signing any specific player does not take in a proper worldview. The Redskins are not the only team shopping.
Remember this should the free agent receiver class dwindle before the Redskins have a chance to open their wallet.