As the legal tampering period of free agency enters its first full day, reports are beginning to emerge about the market for wide receivers, and the numbers being tossed around are mind boggling. There are several young receivers that are available on the market this year in free agency, including Paul Richardson, Allen Robinson, Sammy Watkins, Marqise Lee, Albert Wilson, Donte Moncrief and others.
Tuesday morning reports started to emerge of what the market for some of these young players is, and it if the pursuit of Richardson is anything like the guys for whom deals are being reported, there is exactly zero chance that Richardson will be back in Seattle in 2018. For example, just take a gander at the size of these reported agreements.
The #Chiefs locked in on WR Sammy Watkins late last night and the deal is expected to be worth roughly $16M per year over 3 years, sources say.— Ian Rapoport (@RapSheet) March 13, 2018
Final terms of the #Chiefs expected deal for WR Sammy Watkins: 3 years, $48M with $30M fully guaranteed at signing, sources say.— Ian Rapoport (@RapSheet) March 13, 2018
It’s going to be 3 years, $42M with roughly $25M guaranteed. https://t.co/cktLP6CLOe— Ian Rapoport (@RapSheet) March 13, 2018
Those are massive contracts for two receivers who are considered to have underperformed each of the last two seasons for a variety of reasons. In any case, if this is where the market for wide receivers is being set, it would seem nearly impossible for Seattle to compete for the services of Prich.
Back in November I took a look at what the market for Richardson could be as a free agent and posited that he could potentially get as much as $10M per year on a four or five year contract. Now, however, even that prediction might seem low. There are still several teams looking for help at receiver, and in 2017 Richardson was the most productive of the young receivers that remain available.
This will be an interesting situation to watch continue to develop, but my guess at this point is that Richardson will be leaving the PNW and plying his trade elsewhere.
With former Chiefs receiver Albert Wilson agreeing to terms with Miami at $8M per year, that likely sets an absolute floor for Richardson in any talks with another team.