With a number of top of Wide Receivers expected to hit the Free Agency market in 2021, it’s time to take a look at three under-the-radar players all looking to take the next step in their careers and prove themselves to be franchise leading-players.
Corey Davis – Titans
With five 100-yard games in the 2020 regular season to his name, Corey Davis will be hitting the FA market and have GM’s around the league guessing if he is truly a number one receiver or just a high-end number two.
Davis has consistently demonstrated improvement at the Wide Receiver position during his time in Tennessee, but without a 1000-yard season nested in the four years he has spent in the NFL, the former 5th overall pick may have to settle for a reduced payday.
Davis has not exactly been the talent people touted he would be when he declared for the NFL draft in 2017 but he has shown an ability to be a dependable pair of hands who will put points on the board when asked to do so. Here are two teams who may be looking to acquire Davis’ services…
Free agent landing spots: Corey Davis
- Washington Football Team – Davis would be an ideal fit for a Washington team looking to find a complimentary route-runner to the forever developing talent of Terry McLaurin.
With Washington also set to be part of the Quarterback carousel this off-season, they will no doubt want to get their new prized-possession an abundance of weapons to throw to. Samuel would be a perfect fit as Ron Rivera looks to bring the Washington offence unto the level of his defence in his second year.
- Minnesota Vikings – The loss of Stefon Diggs has been a monumental factor in the Vikings’ decline this season, and as the Minnesota faithful watch in awe as Diggs lights up the city of Buffalo, Vikings brass surely comprehend the need to acquire a suitable replacement.
Davis would certainly strengthen the duo of rookie sensation, Justin Jefferson and the polished Adam Thielen and offer Cousins more opportunities to push the ball downfield. He would help them avoid being too reliant on elite running ability of Dalvin Cook.
It’s also significant to note that Thielen isn’t getting any younger as he approaches 32, and a long-term deal for Davis could make him a potential replacement at the position in addition to being an immediate impact player now.
Kenny Golladay – Lions
Despite enduring a 2020 season predominantly lost due to recurring injuries, Kenny Golladay displayed to the NFL his ability to be a WR1 when he put up eleven touchdowns and more than 1000 receiving yards for the second year running.
Golladay has never been an elite separator. Instead, he’s found his way in the NFL being a player who can ‘go up and get it’ when required. And it’s a talent he’s shown tremendous proficiency in. The Lions therefore won’t been too keen on letting Golladay go without putting up a fight and seeing their Wide Receiver core be depleted further. But here are two teams in the race to get Golladay’s signature.
Free agent landing spots: Kenny Golladay
- Green Bay Packers – Golladay’s camp will no doubt be chasing a large deal of around $16 million plus for his services and with the Packers short on cap space, this may prove to be a huge stumbling block.
However, the Packers offence and in-particular Aaron Rodgers deserves another dependable pair of hands, as the Packers need to desperately turn away from Rodgers’ heavy-reliance on his partnership with Davante Adams. Golladay would be a noticeable upgrade over the inconsistencies that have plagued Marquez Valdes-Scantling and the Packers front-office will know it’s a position in need of a serious upgrade after they so heavily-neglected it last off-season.
- New York Jets – With the announcement of former 49ers defensive guru Robert Saleh taking over the reins on the green side of the big apple, Saleh will look to offer Sam Darnold a plethora of support as they look to quickly assess whether Darnold can be the Franchise Quarterback he was expected to be coming out of College.
The Jets are in desperate need for playmakers and dressing Golladay in Kelly Green would be a big step in the right direction. Golladay could develop an integral tandem with Jamison Crowder and give Saleh’s team at least some chance of escaping numerous losing situations in his first season in charge.
Curtis Samuel – Panthers
Curtis Samuel largely grabbed the headlines over the Panthers’ other young receiving star D.J. Moore, as he put up a career year with 851 yards and 77 receptions.
Samuel was an integral piece in the first year of Matt Rhule’s Carolina Panthers offence, offering new Quarterback Teddy Bridgewater a safe pair of hands to find on a consistent basis. Similar to Corey Davis, Samuel has never proven himself to be a true leader at the wide receiver position but he ended this season with two hugely productive games against Washington and the Saints, meaning he will most likely be chasing a large deal that will secure his position as a solid option at the wide receiver position.
Look out for the following two teams to be chasing his signature when the Free Agency market commences.
Free agent landing spots: Curtis Samuel
- Philadelphia Eagles – Samuel is a great separator, something the Eagles have lacked in a player for far too long now. He would be a useful asset to a team already looking to develop young talent at the wide receiver position in Jalen Reagor, JJ Arcega-Whiteside and Travis Fulgham.
The Eagles cap situation may prove difficult if they were to get this deal over the line but Samuel would not only a be dependable acquisition but a player who could spark the Eagles offence into life as the franchise’s front-office pass the reigns over to a new Head Coach.
- New England Patriots – After a disappointing season for the Patriots, Head Coach Bill Belichick will no doubt want to address the wide receiver position and find a player who can eventually fill the void left behind by Julian Edelman.
The Patriots have noticeable holes in offense but Samuel could potentially take his game to the next level under the tutelage of Josh McDaniel and Bill Belichick. The Patriots have the opportunity to build a room of talented wide receivers so they can once more compete for the top honour.