Wednesday, March 14, 2012
AFC North and remaining free-agent WRs
By Jamison Hensley
The Cleveland Browns need a No. 1 wide receiver. The Cincinnati Bengals need a No. 2 one. And the Baltimore Ravens need a No. 3 target.
But all three did nothing to address these voids as the deep free-agent pool for wide receivers quickly evaporated. What's left? Brandon Lloyd (who could be headed for a reunion with Josh McDaniels in New England), a few second-tier wide receivers and a bunch that won't significantly improve a passing attack.
The Browns will have to look to the draft for a go-to receiver because there really isn't one left in free agency. To make matters worse, Mario Manningham said the Browns aren't even on his radar.
The Bengals' top options to pair with A.J. Green include Manningham, Laurent Robinson (scheduled to visit Jacksonville), Early Doucet, Deion Branch and Plaxico Burress. Cincinnati is looking for a more dependable No. 2 receiver than Jerome Simpson and Andre Caldwell, both of whom are free agents.
The Ravens likely want a No. 3 receiver who can also serve as a returner. Baltimore reportedly has shown interest in the Broncos' Eddie Royal and could go after the 49ers' Ted Ginn.
Here's a recap of what happened with wide receivers on Day 1 of free agency:
Vincent Jackson: Signed with Tampa Bay (five years, $55.5 million)
Marques Colston: Re-signed with New Orleans (five years, reportedly between $35 million and $40 million)
Reggie Wayne: Re-signed with Indianapolis (three years, $17.5 million)
Pierre Garcon: Signed with Washington Redskins (five years, $42.5 million)
Robert Meachem: Signed with San Diego (four years, $25.9 million)