It took what could be considered the biggest leap of faith offer of all time to lure wide receiver Laurent Robinson away from the Dallas Cowboys. The Jacksonville Jaguars signed the Illinois State alum to a five-year, $32.5 million deal on Wednesday. (an alleged $14 million guaranteed). This to a wideout with a long history of injury and only one good year out of his first five seasons. It was such a ridiculous offer for a third wide receiver option that the Cowboys didn’t even attempt to match it. But this new development means Dallas has the difficult task of replacing Robinson’s position and his production.
The Cowboys will be looking to hit the jackpot again, like they did with Robinson in Week Three of last season. Let’s take a look at their free agent options: Here are the wide receiver options currently on the market via Yahoo! Sports and Pro Football Weekly. (as of Thursday morning)
|Wide receivers||FA Type||2011 Team||2012 Team|
|Danny Amendola||RFA||St. Louis|
|Dwayne Bowe||FFA||Kansas City|
|Deion Branch||UFA||New England|
|Plaxico Burress||UFA||New York Jets|
|Michael Clayton||UFA||New York Giants|
|Mark Clayton||UFA||St. Louis|
|Patrick Crayton||UFA||San Diego|
|Ted Ginn Jr.||UFA||San Francisco|
|Domenik Hixon||UFA||New York Giants|
|Vincent Jackson||UFA||San Diego||Tampa Bay|
|Brandon Lloyd||UFA||St. Louis|
|Mario Manningham||UFA||New York Giants|
|Robert Meachem||UFA||New Orleans||San Diego|
|Josh Morgan||UFA||San Francisco||Washington|
|Courtney Roby||UFA||New Orleans|
|Matt Slater||UFA||New England|
|Micheal Spurlock||UFA||Tampa Bay|
|Brett Swain||UFA||San Francisco|
|Devin Thomas||UFA||New York Giants|
|Jerheme Urban||UFA||Kansas City|
|Wes Welker||FFA||New England|
Considering the limited cap space the Cowboys have, some of the bigger names on this list are not even a possibility. Who wouldn’t love to have a Wes Welker, Brandon Lloyd or Mario Manningham as their third option? And although I think most Dallas fans would love the idea of his return, I don’t think Patrick Crayton wants to fill his old position. And don’t even think about mentioning the name Roy Williams to a true Cowboy fan. If you do, be prepared to duck.
The first of three names that intrigue me on this list is Ted Ginn Jr. The former first round pick by the Miami Dolphins back in 2007 is not much of a receiver, but he is one heck of a return specialist. He helped San Francisco get to the playoffs under first year head coach Jim Harbaugh last season and even took a pay cut to do so. And the Cowboys need a special teams’ playmaker desperately. Ginn would pull double duty by returning punts and kickoffs, plus he’s a serviceable vertical threat.
The second name is former New York Giant wideout Steve Smith. Smith signed with the “dream team” Philadelphia Eagles last season after recovering from microfracture surgery on his knee. But Smith never really found his rhythm in Philly recording his lowest stats since his rookie season. And Eagle fan rumors say he played afraid last year possibly due to his previous injury. But the upside is that he’s only a sixth year veteran whose just two seasons removed from a 107 reception year back in 2009. And he could be available for a song.
The last name on my list is Greg Camarillo. The Standford alum had two 50+ reception seasons in Miami before finding receiver purgatory in Minnesota recording just 29 catches total in the past two years. At 6’2, Camarillo has the size to compete with the bigger corners in the NFC East plus a good set of hands. The 30 year old veteran could also bring some much needed leadership to a young wide receiver corps that could include last year’s preseason star Dwayne Harris and the 6’5 project from division II Hillsdale College, Andre Holmes.
If the Cowboys are unable to find a replacement for Robinson in free agency, they may choose to do so in the latter rounds of the upcoming NFL Draft.