Davante Adams isn’t going to play for the Bears in 2018 … he isn’t even going to hit free agency. Bummer. The contract extension Adams signed with the Packers on Friday will keep him in Green Bay for the next four years.
Fortunately for the Bears, Adams wasn’t the only potential impact wide receiver on the cusp of hitting free agency. And while some of these receivers could get extensions of their own (or get franchised) between now and the start of free agency, Adams’ extension has us wanting to take a brief look at the top end of the market while it’s on our mind.
Landry seems set to assume the role as the market’s top free agent now that Adams is off the market. And with Adams re-signing with the Packers, Landry is on the brink of cashing in on a season in which he enters the final week with a league-leading 103 catches to go along with 895 receiving yards, and eight touchdowns. But unlike the other receivers on the market, Landry has done a majority of his damage from the slot, where he has lined up on 66 percent of his routes.
Watkins hasn’t been this productive since 2015 when he caught 96 passes, gained 1,047 receiving yards, and scored nine touchdowns. After a 2016 in which he was limited to eight games because of a broken bone in his foot, Watkins was dealt from the Bills to the Rams in the offseason. He has since returned to form and has become a big-play target for second-year sensation Jared Goff. Watkins leads the Rams with eight touchdown receptions, but ranks fourth in targets (70), catches (39), and yards (593). Still, his 15.2 yards per catch (which ranks as the 14th best in football) shows he can still stretch the field vertically.
The Seahawks might have unearthed a gem in Richardson, a second-round pick in 2014 who is in the midst of a well-timed breakout year. Richardson has set career bests in catches (44), receiving yards (703), and touchdown catches (6). There remains a ton of untapped potential in Richardson, who has some Golden Tate-like qualities, and like Tate, was at one point is an underutilized receiver in Seattle’s offense.
Pryor’s one-year “prove it” deal hasn’t proven much of anything. One year after producing a 77-catch, 1,007-yard season with Cleveland, he hasn’t provided much of an impact in Washington. Pryor finished his season with the Redskins on injured reserve with an ankle injury after catching 20 passes, gaining just 240 yards, and hauling in just one touchdown.
Robinson played in just one game with the Jaguars before suffering a season-ending ACL tear. Back in 2015, Robinson was a Pro Bowl wideout who set career bests in catches (80), yards (1,400), and touchdowns. Checking in at 6-3, 220 pounds, a healthy Robinson could be the big-bodied target that could haul in some of Mitch Trubisky’s high passes. The Bears already have two receivers coming off season-ending injuries, but neither have the upside Robinson possesses.