In case you missed last week’s story outlining free agent wide receiver options for the Seattle Seahawks, there’s a specific type of wide receiver they should be expected to target. A contested catch, big-bodied outside receiver who can round out the starting trio should David Moore fail to make the leap, but not a player who will completely stunt his development.
There are few wide receivers likely to join the current crop of free agents, and even fewer who fit Seattle’s need. Players like DeSean Jackson and Travis Benjamin don’t fit the bill, as the Seahawks are good on vertical threats. Cameron Meredith, Seth Roberts and Nelson Agholor would be unlikely targets, as well, with both Doug Baldwin and Tyler Lockett capable of dominating out of the slot.
However, there are a couple of names that could draw Seattle’s interest once/if they hit the open market.
One of Kyle Shanahan’s favorite wide receivers didn’t have his option picked up by the 49ers, and will become a free agent. In two seasons with San Francisco, Garcon battled injuries, playing in 16 games between 2017 and ‘18. Making the 49ers’ decision even easier is the fact Garcon will be 33 by the time the 2019 season begins, and wasn’t very productive when he was healthy in San Francisco.
However, Garcon has been a supremely reliable wide receiver over the course of his career, is just two seasons removed from a 1000-yard season, and had the fourth highest yards per game of his career in 2017. Whichever team signs Garcon will be making a gamble that there is something left in the tank, and they’ll be getting the physical, difficult-day-at-the-office wide receiver he’s been previously.
A clip that embodies Pierre Garçon: He seeks out the stiff arm, even going slightly backwards to invite contact. Not common for a WR, obviously, but Sherman and the 49ers say they love the “aggressive-assed mentality." Garçon laughed about this one when I asked him after the game pic.twitter.com/CLdARnfnuE— David Lombardi (@LombardiHimself) September 17, 2018
Perhaps it would be too big of a gamble for the Seahawks to make, risking that they end up with a washed up Garcon and a plateaued Moore as their third and fourth wide receivers. But, they could also be getting a solid outside option at a low cost, and someone whose younger self resembled the receiver Moore has appeared to be at times. If the price is right, this is a gamble worth making for Seattle.
Parker’s situation is similar to Vic Beasley’s, who was written about here on Tuesday: Mostly disappointing through four seasons, with a brief high (56 catches, 744 yards and four touchdowns in 2016), but likely to be cut before he can play 2019 under the fifth year option. However, like Beasley, Parker’s upside remains attractive. The 26-year-old possesses great size at 6-foot-3 and 209 pounds, and has the kind of length and fluidity in his game that made Paul Richardson so enjoyable to watch during his time with the Seahawks.
Seattle could get priced out of their interest in Parker quite quickly, should a team to elect to offer him a big money one year, prove-it type of contract. Another dissuading factor for the Seahawks could be that his signing would inevitably stunt Moore’s growth; Parker’s arrival in Seattle would be an indictment of their long-term hopes for Moore.
If the Seahawks have soured on Moore—and there’s no reason to believe they have—then signing Parker would be a proactive move on their part. He can provide a similar element to their wide receiver corps, and has the age and ceiling to become a long-term part of the team.
DeVante Parker finds the end zone for his 1st TD since Week 2 of last season— Bleacher Report NFL (@BR_NFL) December 2, 2018
(via @MiamiDolphins) pic.twitter.com/Onn9rw19YZ
Another wide receiver was added to the group on Monday, when the Cowboys declined Terrance Williams’ option. Williams will now become a free agent as well, but shouldn’t be thought of as a target for Seattle. Despite coming from Baylor, where receivers are expected to run just a handful of routes (slant, hitch, and go) but be exceptionally athletic, Williams is an average athlete who doesn’t particularly do anything well.
Unless something changes or there is a surprise cut, the wide receiver market isn’t overly impressive. The onus is on Moore to continue to grow and get back on the trajectory he appeared to be on in October of 2018, and it’s on the Seahawks to bring in much needed competition at the position.