As we look at the consensus lists of the Top 50 Free Agents for 2013, there are more wide receivers than any other position in the Top 10, four wideouts to be exact. They are Greg Jennings (Packers), Mike Wallace (Steelers), Wes Welker (Patriots), and Victor Cruz (who the Giants plan on making a tender offer to, and as a result won't be a FA).
For the purposes of our analysis, we tried to remove injuries out of our statistical analysis as much as possible, using 'per game' or 'per catch' averages instead.
Who is more highly touted, and who's production is getting better with age? Which player has peaked, and like so many players is compensated for what they used to do on the field? Time will tell as 2013 NFL Free Agency opens tomorrow March 12th at 4pm EST, in the meantime here is the comparison.
1) Average Receiving Yards on a per game basis:
2) Average receiving yards per catch:
3) Average Yards After Catch per Reception:
4) Percentage of Receptions that were Touchdowns:
What's also interesting about each players' declining charts, is that they continue to have some of the best statistically ranked quarterbacks in the NFL. The guys throwing the ball to these free agent recievers are Tom Brady, Aaron Rodgers, Eli Manning, and Ben Roethlisberger (except for a couple games missed to injury).
There's an old saying in the stock market when looking at charts, "The Trend is your Friend". I'm not saying that a guy like Greg Jennings is not a true No. 1 wide receiver, or that any of the aformentioned free agents aren't still good receivers. But when you look at their charts and see the decline over the last year, one has to wonder about each player's ability to return to previous levels of production.