The Buffalo Bills announced Thursday that they would not be re-signing wide receiver Donald Jones. One reason that may be is the deep wide receiver class in free agency this season. Here are a list of five top receivers hitting the market.
5. Brian Hartline - While he insists he will stay in Miami, Hartline did see his first 1,000 yard season this year as the Dolphins number two. He is unrestricted and could test the market. He has great hands and quickness, which could be used over the middle. Hartline will most likely stay in Miami, unless the team isn't as loyal as he is.
4. Wes Welker – The long-time Patriots receiver cannot be franchised this year and the team no longer will want to give him a new deal. Tom Brady's offense can be run with a new guy in Welker's role for cheaper, so expect this receiver to move. His speed and skills will make him an asset wherever he lands. There may be an extra incentive for Welker to stay in the AFC East in an attempt to knock the Patriots off after the clear effort to phase him out this season.
3. Danny Amendola – While plagued with injuries this season, this receiver could be seeing a big pay day after being the only consistent receiver in St. Louis. The team wants him back, but many teams see great things in him across the middle. If he tests the market, he could land himself in a role much like Welker had in New England.
2. Mike Wallace – While many Bills fans think Wallace is the answer, with his price tag comes an attitude that Steelers fans are ready to let go. Antonio Brown needs a new contract and that will keep Wallace from being franchised. The Bills could make a big push for Wallace as the speed option opposite Stevie Johnson. Wallace may attract teams with big pockets and he may want more of a spotlight in the end.
1. Greg Jennings – While a bit older, this receiver is heading toward free agency, and quick. Randall Cobb and James Jones are the new faces of the Packers receiving corps and Jennings is going to want one last big deal in Green Bay. The Bills could target Jennings especially if they draft quarterback. His experience in the league could help bring along a quarterback. Jennings is a long shot, but the Bills could at least target him.
Dark Horse. Dwayne Bowe – While Kansas City seems like the last team to be a favorite in any race, Bowe may commit to the new coaching staff. If he does decide to test the market, he will get paid. A lot of Bills fans have been clamoring for Bowe and he would be well-received here. If the Bills decided to make a splash without breaking the bank, Bowe could be that guy while Jennings and Wallace are on the market.
Free agency starts March 13. Teams have until March 5 to place franchise tags on players.
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