Six Moderately Priced Free Agent Wide Receivers Who Could Help the Packers

The Packers will likely add a wide receiver in free agency, but they won't spend top dollar for one. Here are six potential candidates who can help the Packers but won't break the bank.

 

The Packers approach free agency this season knowing they have less cap room than they did a year ago when they splurged on four high-priced players who all not only started but made significant contributions to the team’s success.

This year, wide receiver is clearly an area of need. GM Brian Gutekunst is more likely to spend more money on an inside linebacker in free agency than he is on a wide receiver. The Packers are more likely to add a mid-priced receiver than a marquis name costing a lot of money.

With that in mind, here are six moderately priced free agents who could be targets for the Packers when free agency gets under way later this month.

Randall Cobb Dallas

Cobb is 30 years old and coming off a productive season with the Cowboys which saw him catch 55 catches for 828 yards and three touchdowns.

The Packers are obviously very familiar with Cobb and he has Aaron Rodgers’ trust after spending the first eight years of his career in Green Bay.

The biggest issues with Cobb are his age and his ability to stay healthy. He did that in Dallas last year but struggled during his final few seasons in Green Bay. His small frame makes it tougher for Cobb to stay healthy.

Cobb’s asking price may be a bit too high for the Packers. Last year, he earned $5 million with the Cowboys and he will want at least that much after a productive 2019.

Cobb also may want to remain in Dallas because of his relationship with former Packers head coach Mike McCarthy who he played for during his eight year stay in Green Bay.

Re-signing Cobb is unlikely because he may want too much money, but he could be a good option in the slot in the unlikely event he doesn’t find a better offer elsewhere.

Nelson Agholor Philadelphia

Agholor is younger than Cobb but hasn’t been as productive. He had two seasons of 60-plus catches with the Eagles in 2017 and 2018 before catching 39 in 11 games with the Eagles last year. He’s a former first-round pick who never really blossomed into a top receiver with Philadelphia.

His lack of size and top speed makes him better suited to a role as a slot receiver. The Packers need a receiver with a different body type than the larger Davante Adams, Jake Kumerow and Allen Lazard and Agholor may fit that bill.

Agholor may be a reasonably priced role player for the Packers who can then go out and draft a receiver and develop him to take over as the WR2.

Demarcus Robinson Kansas City

Robinson is just 26 and played last season for the Super Bowl champion Chiefs. He made 32 catches for 449 yards and four scores while playing a backup role. The former fourth round pick out of Florida had pretty good size at 6’1” and makes fluid moves and cuts well.

He has a history of off the field issues including four suspensions in college and a stay in drug rehab so that may make the Packers wary.

Robinson has never been super productive in the NFL, but the talent is certainly there, and the Packers could get him on the cheap.

Taylor Gabriel Chicago

Gabriel caught 29 passes last year for 353 yards and four touchdowns. The big issue for the Packers with Gabriel is his size, he stands just 5’7” and weighs 168 while the Packers typically prefer bigger receivers. His lack of size may limit his run-blocking ability which Matt LaFleur asks his receivers to do regularly.

Gabriel is 29 and has six NFL seasons under his belt with the Browns, Bears and Falcons. His most productive year was 2018 when he made 67 passes for 688 yards and two scores.

His speed makes him a threat on deep passes, and he could also be used on jet sweeps and other gadget plays.

He would be a slot receiver who could play the role that Cobb previously played in Green Bay. His quickness and experience would be an asset and again, he could probably be signed one a two or three-year deal for a reasonable amount of money.

Phillip Dorsett New England

A former first-round pick of the Colts, Dorsett has never broken out and established himself as an NFL starter. He made 29 catches last year with the Patriots for 397 yards and five touchdowns on a New England team that lacked talent and depth at the receiver position.

Speed is Dorsett’s biggest asset, but he never developed into a good route runner and that may prevent him from gaining the trust of Rodgers who often shows impatience with receivers.

Dorsett made only $2.6 million last season and he can be had at a similar salary in 2020 which may mean taking a chance on him wouldn’t cost much.

Tajae Sharpe Tennessee

Sharpe made 25 catches with the Titans last season for 329 yards and four touchdowns. The former U Mass star would be a good fit for the Packers in many ways. He is a polished route runner who lacks elite speed but plays a smart game.

Sharpe has good size at 6’2” and 194 pounds and he has very good hands. Sharpe has also played in LaFleur’s offense when the Packers head coach was the Titans offensive coordinator in 2018 so he’d have a head start over other potential signees at learning the Green Bay offense.

He made just over $2 million last season and would not cost a lot to sign. He is also just 25 and should just be entering his prime right now.

 

You can follow Gil Martin on Twitter @GilPackers

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Comments (39)

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jimtalkbox's picture

March 12, 2020 at 09:43 am

I think Sharpe could be an upgrade over the Allison/Kumerow types. I think you'd want him as no more than #3 or ideally a #4.

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GilMartin's picture

March 12, 2020 at 02:13 pm

Agreed. All of these guys are WR 3 or WR 4 types. Sharpe would probably be the best fit. Thanks for the comment.

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Harold Drake's picture

March 12, 2020 at 09:47 am

I'm sorry to have to disgree with Mr. Martin, but only one of his bargain-basement free agent WR candidates has any value to the Pack and that would be Dorsett. The rest are second-rate WRs and the Pack already has plenty of those on the roster. In fact, I would argue that MVS, EQ, and Lazard are just as talented as any of the above.

As Aaron Nagler has pointed out so astutely, this year's NFL draft is rich in top-flight WR prospects - my choice would be Baylor's Denzel Mims who has size (6'3") and explosive speed and good hands. He would also be cheaper than any of the above free agents.

The Pack would be far better off signing Littleton as an elite ILB and using the draft on an elite WR prospect.

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Guam's picture

March 12, 2020 at 10:28 am

Agree HD. We can draft WR help. Spend our free agent money on ILB and IDL where the draft is much less likely to provide help.

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jannes bjornson's picture

March 12, 2020 at 09:45 pm

An OT is priority if /when Bulaga moves on for a new deal. I would move to stabilize the right flank and move up again in the First or high second to pick off one of the WRs. ILB could be his free agent target and a guy in the 3rd or 4th.

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GilMartin's picture

March 12, 2020 at 02:15 pm

Thanks for commenting Harold. I agree that the draft is deep at WR and the Packers should pick one in the first couple of rounds and one on Day 3 as well. But I think they will also add a depth receiver via free agency for a lower price while signing a bigger ticket ILB in free agency. I think we agree on most things overall.

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TheVOR's picture

March 13, 2020 at 10:57 am

I like Littleton as well, problem is we need 2 ILB's, not just 1. I don't see Blake as back with the Pack, and nothing else on that roster is a starting quality ILB, certainly not the often touted Burks. JMO..

If they could get Littleton, and another decent ILB prospect at 30, then draft WR in the 2nd round, I'd view that scenario as more ideal.

That said, if a starting ILB top prospect isn't sitting there at 30, I want them to draft a guy who can start and heavily contribute. If that's a WR, so be it..

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stockholder's picture

March 12, 2020 at 10:15 am

The choice is simple. Draft Fast, or pay slow. Why do you want to spend money on cast -offs? You don't want to sit or make Lazard a TE. And It still comes down to pay Defense, and draft Offense. Signing a veteran Wr would be like signing Graham. So just stop. The rookies are now veterans. Paying a veteran Wr with Clark unsigned, just isn't good business. If you want a WR in FA. Draft one #1. If you want to fix the DL. Pay Clark and Draft LBs.

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GilMartin's picture

March 12, 2020 at 02:17 pm

I don't think these are mutually exclusive. Adding depth at WR without spending a lot of money and drafting a WR in one of the first few rounds of the draft and again on Day 3 is a smart plan. To me, the bigger money spent in FA will be at ILB. Thanks for commenting.

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Point-Packer's picture

March 12, 2020 at 10:25 am

I don't think GB needs any help at WR.......

"They just need to play" - Aaron Nagler

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GilMartin's picture

March 12, 2020 at 02:19 pm

The Packers really didn't get much production from WRs not named Davante Adams. Hopefully, they add some talent and some of the players that remain improve in 2020. Thanks for commenting.

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jeremyjjbrown's picture

March 12, 2020 at 10:36 am

Cobb had "55 catches for 828 yards and three touchdowns."

That's a pretty bad value for 5 million plus.

MVS had 416 yards and 2 TDs in his first 7 games last season before Rodgers stopped targeting him. ESB had a fairly good rookie year. I expect one of those guys to bounce back. Especially if the Packers get a TE who can get open. I also really like Lazard. I say draft 2 WRs in this great WR draft and don't overpay any mediocre FA WRs.

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GilMartin's picture

March 12, 2020 at 02:21 pm

Thanks for commenting. MVS did get off to a good start and he has great speed but he disappeared after Week 4. I hope a healthy EQ will help next year. I agree draft 2 WRs, one in the first couple of rounds and one on Day 3, but I also think they'll add a depth WR on the cheap in FA.

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Point-Packer's picture

March 13, 2020 at 09:42 am

Rodgers didn't stop targeting him. After his attempted catch "air ball", his playing time decreased and he became the scrub he was before he was over-hyped by Aaron Nagler and caught a few long balls.

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Spock's picture

March 12, 2020 at 10:36 am

Not exactly exciting prospects; I'd rather pick up better athletes in the draft. We need to get an ILB and/or a DL in FA, not WR's. I haven't heard about that top Canadian WR the Packers signed to a futures contract. Does anyone know anything about him????

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GilMartin's picture

March 12, 2020 at 02:26 pm

I agree we need to draft WRs, preferably one in the first couple of rounds and one on Day 3. I still think they'll also sign a moderately priced FA WR. As for the Canadian import we signed, he's 26 year old Reggie Begelton and he had 102 catches last year in Canada. Here's his bio on the Packers official site. https://www.packers.com/team/players-roster/reggie-begelton/

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Demon's picture

March 12, 2020 at 03:57 pm

Yeah I know about him Spock. He played in the CFL!!!! Thats all anyone needs to know. Next please!

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jeepingmakooi's picture

March 12, 2020 at 05:57 pm

And Kurt Warner was area league.. just cause he is up there doesn't mean he is devoid of talent. And was extremely productive in the CFL. Looks like a good signing to me. Just gotta see him compete in camp

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4thand10's picture

March 14, 2020 at 04:21 pm

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Tarynfor12's picture

March 12, 2020 at 11:09 am

I see the bargain basement furniture rearrangement thinking is still in vogue with writers here at CHTV.

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CoachDino's picture

March 12, 2020 at 04:27 pm

These are options - not must signs. There is value in getting a veteran that can be counted on to do things right consistently. Draft picks most often are potential strong but it often takes experience to gain consistency. It comes down to how low can you go w/o risking more important FA signings. If you want to sign big than a small signing like this may be all you have left. On the other side signing a wr might use resources better spent. There's no right or wrong in these exercises, just scenario analyzation so one is prepared for when the time comes.

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Leatherhead's picture

March 12, 2020 at 11:39 am

We have less than $30 million to spend in FA, which puts us at 23rd in the league. Almost half the league has twice as much, and some teams have three times as much.

We have no starter opposite of Martinez and we're about to lose Martinez. Our nickleback is the league's oldest. We need a starter at TE. We need a starter at RT.

Jones, Williams, Clark, Baktiari, King, and Linsley will all be FAs next year. Personally, I think there are better things to do with the money than signing a FA at WR.

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GilMartin's picture

March 12, 2020 at 02:29 pm

This is a fair assessment. That's why I think they will spend on a lower priced bargain type to add depth. Some of these guys can be signed for $2-3 million. Thanks for commenting.

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Coldworld's picture

March 12, 2020 at 11:49 pm

Exactly the type of player who provides a base threshold for competence. Bring him in and your depth gets better if others supplant him on the depth chart. Most of these are an upgrade on Alison of 2019.

Amused at the number wanting to play the lottery and just trust to rookies in the draft to turn this around. You guys must feel lucky. I’d prefer we limit that risk with a cheaper FA.

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scullyitsme's picture

March 12, 2020 at 11:48 am

As much as I’ve been pounding the table for a better receiver Corp, and I think all these guys are better than everyone not named Adams. I really don’t want any of them. Maybe one at a basement bargain type price. Either get an aj green, Robby Anderson or draft three of them again. This is the year to do it. We can’t whiff on three receivers again could we? In this draft? Knock on wood

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GilMartin's picture

March 12, 2020 at 02:37 pm

I agree scullyitsme. Sign one of them for $2-3 million and draft one WR in the first couple of rounds and one on Day 3. I think the big FA money will go to ILB. Thanks for commenting.

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CAG123's picture

March 12, 2020 at 12:09 pm

A list of retreads and castoffs? Nelson Agholor couldn’t catch coronavirus if he tried the Packers are better off drafting a WR than paying any of these scrubs Sharpe could be a decent cheap replacement for Allison or “offseason hype machine number 7” aka Jake Kumerow. The only possible FA WR I’d be interested in Watkins a potential cap casualty but that’s only a the right price.

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GilMartin's picture

March 12, 2020 at 02:40 pm

These guys are lower priced, depth FAs. Then you add a WR early in the draft and another on Day 3. I think the big FA money will be spent at ILB. Thanks for the comment.

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dobber's picture

March 12, 2020 at 01:08 pm

There's more than one way to skin a cat...there's easily multiple ways to address this team's needs on the offensive side of the ball through the draft and FA. I think that this cast of characters represents the most likely candidates IF the Packers decide to add receiver depth by FA. I don't think Amari Cooper, Robbie Anderson, or Emmanuel Sanders are coming to GB...but I don't think Geronimo Allison or Jake Kumerow is the future and Allison cost the Packers almost $3M in 2019. I'm not going to discount one of these guys ending up in GB at the right price.

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CAG123's picture

March 12, 2020 at 01:13 pm

Are the Packers looking for depth or a quality consistent WR next to Adams? They might as well resign Allison and Kumerow if they just want depth they have ESB, Lazard, Grant etc for depth.

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GilMartin's picture

March 12, 2020 at 02:41 pm

Agreed. That's more or less how I see things playing out. Thanks for commenting.

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ShawnO's picture

March 12, 2020 at 01:44 pm

I think Green Bay is done signing free agent WRs, see Reggie Begelton. Even middle of the road WRs and OL (Billy Turner) are typically quite expensive in free agency compared to filling other holes like ILB and maybe a middle of the road DL or TE.

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GilMartin's picture

March 12, 2020 at 02:42 pm

We shall see. I think if they sign a FA WR, it's a lower cost, depth type player. Thanks for commenting.

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flackcatcher's picture

March 12, 2020 at 04:02 pm

Na... Packers will go through draft for the reasons leatherhead expressed up thread. That is, if there is pro football this year....

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GilMartin's picture

March 12, 2020 at 07:34 pm

Most of these players could probably be signed for $2-4 million per year so the risk would be minimal. We shall see what Gutekunst decides to do to address the wide receiver situation.

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wildbill's picture

March 12, 2020 at 06:24 pm

Not sure I have the answer for our WR issues. I would like to think a WR drafted would help but there have been plenty of high WR draft picks through the years who did not do well at the NFL level in spite of their capabilities. And they normally take a couple years to develop. Even a veteran coming in will have to learn our system and could have a long transition period. I would draft a couple of WRs but not at the expense of RT and DL. As for the above mentioned WRs, Dorsett is the only one I would gamble on if cheap, no disrespect to Cobb but still worry about his health and cost

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GilMartin's picture

March 12, 2020 at 07:33 pm

I am also concerned about Cobb's health and cost as I mentioned in the article. All of these players should be low priced and add depth. We shall see what happens. Thanks for commenting.

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SterlingSharpe's picture

March 12, 2020 at 11:46 pm

Sharpe is the likeliest among these guys.

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GilMartin's picture

March 13, 2020 at 12:11 pm

I agree. He makes the most sense because of his experience in the offense and relatively low price.

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