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Continuing the 2020 NFL free agency preview of available players, cut candidates, and landing spots, here is a look at the wide receiver position around the NFL landscape:
2020 FREE AGENTS
Cooper is unlikely to hit the absolute open market with Dallas to open up their wallets before Cooper looks to the highest non-Cowboys bidder. Cooper would break the bank if he did a la Kirk Cousins, a rare occurrence at such a high tier among their respective positions. Spotrac.com estimates Cooper's market value at nearly $19 million per year. Green and Fitzgerald are career-long notables on their current teams but Green could shift to a much stronger contender as the Super Bowl has eluded him to-date and Cincinnati is closer to tearing down the roster than a piece or two away from being built up. Fitzgerald is more of a bet to retire than play for a non-Arizona team, but the Super Bowl was close for Fitzgerald with the Cardinals, albeit many years ago.
Anderson has yet to hit 1,000 yards in a season for generally poor Jets teams over four seasons. In his mid-20s, this is Anderson's best (and likely lone) chance to cash in on a positive career start and being a 1A/B option on a better offense starting in 2020. Allen Robinson, Alshon Jeffery, and Doug Baldwin are comparable players and contracts in the $11+ million per year range provided by Spotrac.com.
Sanders has bounced around in his career and is now at 33 years old and potentially on his third team in two seasons if leaving San Francisco, after they traded for him, midway through 2019. Sanders likely draws less of a contract than all but Fitzgerald on the open market from the above list, but can still be a WR1 as a stopgap.
There is a pronounced drop from the upside potential of the top tier to this second tier. Funchess bet on himself after his Carolina rookie contract with a one-year deal in Indianapolis and has spent nearly the entire season injured. Still in his mid-20s, Funchess has flashed 1A/B upside but will be multiple seasons removed from some of his better career play when hitting the open market, again, in 2020.
Cobb has thrived being the 2A/B along with Michael Gallup in Dallas this season in a reclamation project model. Cobb has been at his best as the secondary option on a quality passing team. Cobb is nearing 30 years old and a modest two-year type contract to upgrade their slot position would be a best-case in the offseason.
Amendola will certainly come at a discount compared to a Randall Cobb type in the open market considering his spotty injury history and being more than four years older than Cobb. However, Amendola still offers quality movement and separation chops to his game and a chain-moving (with some bigger play) upside.
Nelson Agholor has been a disappointment compared to his draft position and start-of-career allure for being more than a solid WR3 in NFL terms. Agholor has done enough, however, to get at least one more shot to contribution with a multi-year deal outside of Philadelphia considering his pedigree and at least flashing reasonable potential at his 2017-18 peak performance to-date.
BEST OF THE REST
Thomas is still relevant in 2019 on a Jets depth chart with Robby Anderson and Jamison Crowder even though many wrote Thomas off more than a season ago from much viability. Lee is a cut candidate (or near-certainty) with injuries being his most recent and tallest hurdle to returning to relevance. Snead is a low-upside veteran depth play for a roster in 2020 if needed. Dorsett, like Nelson Agholor above, is a pedigree bet to get more out of him than the Colts who originally drafted Dorsett a la New England. Robinson is the lone player in this group to be more of a 'what if' proposition where he has flashed on occasion in a secondary role and has yet to switch teams or have massive reasons for on-field skepticism if offered a bigger role audition in 2020.
2020 WIDE RECEIVER LANDING SPOTS
CLEAR WR1 AVAILABLE
The Dolphins will have a massive overhaul in the offseason and potential new QB1, RB1, and WR1 for opening day 2020. The chemistry of said changes could be a rising tide synergy or one stifling the others if it does not work. The Jets need help at receiver and at tight end with the hope of Sam Darnold as the point guard can distribute fantasy production. Tyler Boyd and Tyrell Williams are de facto WR1 options this year but more WR2 types if a team can have more of a go-to presence on the depth charts. Derek Carr has steadied Oakland's passing game from the uncertainty projected last offseason, but Cincinnati is earmarked to switch starting quarterbacks for 2020.
AT LEAST WR2 AVAILABLE
The Colts have WR1 upside potential with T.Y. Hilton edging closer to the prime production window age decline point and has suffered injuries of late. John Brown, Courtland Sutton, and D.J. Chark are all decent WR1 types but could be viewed more as WR2s in retrospect a couple of seasons from now when the teams declare their positions in the offseason. Terry McLaurin could be in a similar boat in Washington. Michael Thomas and Davante Adams are locked in lead targets for their depth charts but with easy avenues for an added receiver to emerge as the clear second option. Marquise Brown was added in Round 1 for Baltimore but the depth chart is light otherwise and Brown could ultimately be more of a speed-based WR2 than lead option. The 49ers have a collection of solid options but without Emmanuel Sanders could play a committee game at receiver if Deebo Samuel is viewed more as a WR1/2 hybrid than overt lead option. Alshon Jeffery is fading from his peak in recent years and the Eagles could easily be included in the WR1 Available group with J.J. Arcega-Whiteside a relative non-factor through much of his rookie season.
BEST OF THE REST
The Vikings and Cowboys both could offer more attractive WR3 roles than many teams' WR2 spots for upside. The Vikings do have Irv Smith Jr. developing nicely at tight end for a (likely) changing of the guard in 2020 whether Kyle Rudolph is retained or not. With Randall Cobb assumed gone, Dallas has a close-to-retirement (again) Jason Witten at tight end and a wide open receiver depth chart to be a firm WR3 with upside.