NFC West: Derek Hagan

Wide receivers Vincent Jackson, Pierre Garcon, Reggie Wayne, Robert Meachem, Eddie Royal, Laurent Robinson, Josh Morgan, Eric Weems and Harry Douglas have found new homes after hitting the NFL's free-agent market.

Franchise tags essentially removed from consideration Dwayne Bowe, Wes Welker and DeSean Jackson.

Others, such as Marques Colston, re-signed before free agency.

Teams still searching for help at the position -- that would be pretty much everyone but Seattle in the NFC West -- are left with a picked-over group of free agents.

Jerome Simpson, Plaxico Burress, Brandon Lloyd, Legedu Naanee, Devin Aromashodu, Roy Williams, Mario Manningham and Early Doucet are the only ones remaining to have played at least half of their team's offensive snaps during the 2011 season.

As the chart shows, Burress was particularly effective in the red zone for the New York Jets. He converted first downs 38 times in 45 receptions for the third-highest percentage among wide receivers with at least 40 receptions, according to ESPN Stats & Information.

Burress is also up there in age. He's among 12 available wideouts already in their 30s: Hines Ward (36), Burress (34), T.J. Houshmandzadeh (34), Kevin Curtis (33), Patrick Crayton (32), Deion Branch (32), Rashied Davis (32), Donte Stallworth (31), Jerheme Urban (31), Bryant Johnson (31), Lloyd (30) and Williams (30).

Of them, Lloyd has visited the San Francisco 49ers.

Nine more are 29 years old: Greg Camarillo, Keary Colbert, Mark Clayton, Jerricho Cotchery, Roscoe Parrish, Michael Clayton, Courtney Roby, Michael Spurlock and Braylon Edwards.

Still interested?

OK, let's check out 18 others, all younger than 29: David Anderson, Legedu Naanee, Devin Aroshamodu, Donnie Avery, Anthony Gonzalez, Maurice Stovall, Derek Hagan, Mike Sims-Walker, Ted Ginn Jr., Andre Caldwell, Steve Smith, Doucet, Brett Swain, Chaz Schilens, Simpson, Manningham, Devin Thomas and Kevin Ogletree.

Schilens visited Arizona and San Francisco. Manningham visited the 49ers and the St. Louis Rams.

I've also broken down the available wideouts by drafted round:
  • First: Williams, Burress, Ginn, Stallworth, both Claytons, Johnson, Gonzalez and Edwards
  • Second: Avery, Thomas, Simpson, Smith, Parrish, Branch, Colbert
  • Third: Roby, Doucet, Hagan, Stovall, Manningham, Caldwell, Curtis, Sims-Walker, Ward
  • Fourth: Cotchery, Lloyd
  • Fifth: Legedu Naanee
  • Sixth: none
  • Seventh: Houshmandzadeh, Crayton, Schilens, Aromashodu, Anderson, Swain
  • Undrafted: Davis, Urban, Camarillo, Spurlock, Ogletree

Only a handful of the available receivers project as starters. None would qualify as an outright game-breaker.

The Rams in particular need playmakers, but in looking at what is available, how many would qualify as dramatically better than what they already have? Austin Pettis, Brandon Gibson, Danario Alexander, Dominique Curry, Greg Salas and restricted free agent Danny Amendola are their current wideouts.

Around the NFC West: Cardinals believe

September, 15, 2008

Posted by's Mike Sando

Dan Bickley of the Arizona Republic dares to dream after the Cardinals' first 2-0 start since 1991. Safety Adrian Wilson calls the Cardinals a "great team" as long as they stay together.

Also from Bickley: A look at the key play, Boldin's 79-yard touchdown. The Dolphins covered Boldin with a linebacker on the play.

Kent Somers of the Arizona Republic wonders which defensive player will dabble on offense next for the Cardinals. Wilson threw a block on offense against the Dolphins. A week earlier, cornerback Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie ran a pass route.

Also from Somers: The Cardinals knew the Dolphins were no match for them. And they played that way. Somers said the offense looked like it was playing flag football.

More from Somers: What we learned about the Cardinals, notably that Kurt Warner has plenty left at age 37. Also worth noting: Miami's cornerbacks were slow in reacting to motion.

And this revelation from Somers: He was in junior high the last time the Cardinals opened a season with a 3-0 record. That was in 1974.

Richard Obert of the Arizona Republic checks in with the Cardinals' dynamic receiving duo. He also takes a look at the Dolphins' defense.

Scott Allen of admits he kept waiting for the Cardinals to play down to their competition. It never happened.

Darren Urban of says the Cardinals found another way to win even though the Dolphins caught Larry Fitzgerald after a 75-yard gain. Teammate Anquan Boldin: "He's going to hear about it all week."

Also from Urban: Karlos Dansby said he felt "sick to my stomach" after allowing a late touchdown to the Dolphins during an otherwise impressive performance. Tummy aches aside, the Cardinals' defense sounds hungry. 

More from Urban: The Cardinals talked about putting away the Dolphins early. Then they followed through. Left guard Reggie Wells: "I'm not saying getting excited over a win is ever a bad thing, but you can see a big difference in the locker room after this one. Guys are starting to expect to win. That's what separates the good teams from the bad teams, not going out and wondering what the outcome is going to be. I think that's a huge step forward."

Mike Tulumello of the East Valley Tribune says 66 percent of 2-0 teams have earned playoff berths over the last 30 years.

Also from Tulumello: Cardinals coach Ken Whisenhunt loved the team's matchups against the Dolphins' secondary.

Scott Bordow of the East Valley Tribune says the Cardinals are giving fans reason for excitement. And reason to ignore the struggling Diamondbacks.

Anthony Martinez of the East Valley Tribune says this was the third time Warner has finished a game with a perfect passer rating. That ties Peyton Manning for the most perfect games in NFL history.

Josh Spivak of the East Valley Tribune checks in with former Arizona State receiver Derek Hagan, who was back in town with the Dolphins.