2018 NFL Free Agency opens on March 14. While the most talked about transactions will certainly be around the quarterback position, there are several receivers that will no doubt give franchises a much needed offensive boost. This list of WR landing spots is based on team situation including current roster and salary cap and prioritized by the teams’ ability to contend for a playoff spot in 2018.
Top Free Agent WR Destinations
Tyrell Williams To The Arizona Cardinals
The Arizona Cardinals are a win-now team despite losing both Head Coach Bruce Arians and starting QB Carson Palmer. Here’s why Arizona going after Tyrell Williams makes sense. First, they already have a playoff-caliber defense. Their window for success is built around the team’s ability to keep them together. Secondly, their offense has two of the most talented players in the NFL in Larry Fitzgerald and David Johnson. A tall, fast receiver who can stretch the field and has a huge catch area for jump balls can increase their effectiveness. Finally, an additional receiving weapon could not only attract a quality starter but improve his contribution to the offense. Arizona doesn’t have the cap space to land a Kirk Cousins but a young prospect like A.J. McCarron could come with a reasonable price tag with a draft loaded with 1st-round talent. Because Tyrell Williams is an RFA, the Cardinals would have to deal with the tender placed on him that would cause them to forfeit a draft pick.
Jarvis Landry To The San Francisco 49ers
When it comes to top free agency landing spots, one must also consider the budget and the 49ers have about $78 million in cap space based on projections. San Francisco recently invested heavily in their newly-acquired QB, Jimmy Garoppolo. Since becoming the starting QB, the 49ers have not lost a game. That said, their WR corps is not that impressive boasting Marquise Goodwin, Trent Taylor, and an injured Pierre Garcon who has never played with Garoppolo. Enter: Jarvis Landry who has managed to thrive with the likes of Ryan Tannehill, Matt Moore, and Jay Cutler as his QBs. Going into 2018 at only 25-years old, Landry and Garoppolo could be a legendary tandem for years to come and given the WR landscape, there won’t be another opportunity like this one for a while.
Update: As of February 20, the Miami Dolphins exercised the franchise tag on Landry. However, this move may be an attempt to trade his rights. The 49ers currently have four picks in the first three rounds still making him a potential sign-and-trade to San Francisco.
Paul Richardson To The Baltimore Ravens
There are just some things that will always be true about Baltimore: there’s going to be a street-closing festival on the Saturday you need to be somewhere, a rat will chew through the most expensive wires in your car the day after you pay off your credit card, and the Ravens will need a wide receiver. Paul Richardson could be their player. The Ravens love guys that considered “blue collar”: not flashy, earn their playing time on the field, and are usually underpaid. The Ravens’ offensive identity is built off the running game when they’re successful. A run-to-setup-the-pass team like Baltimore can exploit offenses who want to shut down the Ravens’ ground game with Richardson’s quickness and hands without breaking the bank.
Cameron Meredith To The Dallas Cowboys
The Dallas Cowboys are a contender in the NFC East but are in need of some type of spark on offense. The problem with the Cowboys is that they don’t have a ton of space to make a huge splash in free agency at arguably a luxury position like receiver while addressing other needs. That is why Cameron Meredith could be a good fit for Dallas. His price may be low compared to his ability to produce depending on his recovery from a torn ACL in a pre-season game last year. Add to that, the one thing Dallas cannot afford is another locker room headache. Meredith is a tall receiver with good hands, affordable and most importantly, doesn’t cause problems.
Terrelle Pryor To The New Orleans Saints
The New Orleans Saints shed their trademark high-flying passing offense for a devastating running attack. Is this an evolution of what we should expect to see from the Saints moving forward or a successful means to an end? If Drew Brees returns next season, I don’t see the passing game being a thing of the past but what is evident is the lack of receiving threats beyond Michael Thomas. This is why Terrelle Pryor can turn the Saints into the most deadly offense in the league. A 6’4” down-field threat who has proven he can put up 1000-plus yards with mediocre QBs. The Saints could be the ultimate “pick your poison” offense in the dome and after coming off a disappointing season, Pryor could be a steal.