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Steelers 2020 Free Agent Market Watch: The Wide Receivers

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BTSC takes a look at the top free agents at each position whether or not they are in the Steelers price range. Here are the Wide Receivers.

Pittsburgh Steelers v Cincinnati Bengals Photo by John Grieshop/Getty Images

Disclaimer: The author realizes that the team is burning in Salary Cap Hell and can’t pony up much money for free agents. However, you never know what they have planned and it’s the author’s responsibility to highlight the free agent options. It’s like the lyric in the Aerosmith classic, Dream On...”I know nobody knows where it comes and where it goes. I know it’s everybody sin, you got to lose to know how to win”.

The Steelers situation at the position of Wide Receiver is confusing. JuJu Smith-Schuster had a year where he was hampered by injury and just didn’t establish himself as a clear WR1. Also Donte Moncrief was a free agent bust and Ryan Switzerland was a statue. A lot of that was due to Ben Roethlisberger departing in the middle of Week 2 with a season-ending elbow injury. The receivers were plagued with inconsistencies from their inexperienced passers. However, James Washington, Deontae Johnson and Deon Cain are all under 24 and are full of bright promises. If Big Ben is healthy, this could be a fantastic stable. They could add a low-cost veteran as well, but salary cap room is oh-so-very tight. If they do add to this position group, here is the list of available free agents should space open up.


Amari Cooper - Dallas Cowboys

6’1”, Age 25

2019 Receiving - 16 games, 116 targets, 79 receptions, 1189 yards, 15.1 yards per reception, 8 touchdowns, 7 drops, 3.5 yards after catch/per reception

No. 9 PFF Position Ranking

PFF Overall Grade: 84.1 (High Quality), Receiving 84.2. (High Quality), Rushing 56.6 (Average)

Amari Cooper found a lot of money when he was traded to Dallas. Translation...he really thrived after leaving Oakland. The 4x Pro Bowler is a top free agent, but some are wary of the reports that he allegedly “quit” on the Raiders and his injury history. But he can still play at a WR1 level and will make mucho dinero on the open market.


A.J. Green - Cincinnati Bengals

6’4”, Age 31

2018 Receiving - Did Not Play

2018 Receiving - 9 games, 77 targets, 46 receptions, 694 yards, 15.1 yards per reception, 6 touchdowns, 5 drops, 3.5 yards after catch/per reception

Not Ranked in 2019 PFF Position Ranking

2018 PFF Overall Grade: 85.2. (Elite), Receiving 84.9. (High Quality)

Green, was at one point in his career, the most dominant receiver in the NFL. The Steelers were victimized by No. 18 a lot since 2011. He’s going to be 32 and hasn’t played a full season since 2017. He did not play at all in 2019. It’s a risk, but if the Steelers could get a guy like this at the veteran minimum and hope...the 7x Pro Bowler could be a huge x-factor and make JuJu, DJ18 and JWash more productive.


Emmanuel Sanders - San Francisco 49ers

Age 33, 5’11”

2019 Receiving - 17 games, 97 targets, 66 receptions, 869 yards, 13.2 yards per reception, 5 touchdowns, 1 drop, 3.6 yards after catch/per reception

No. 22 PFF Position Ranking

PFF Overall Grade: 77.0 (High Quality), Receiving 79.9 (High Quality)

There’s definitely no love lost between the former Steeler “Young Money” stablemate and Ben Roethlisberger and even Sanders feels that a reunion is quite unlikely. However, he’s still productive enough to the point that he greatly aided Jimmy Garoppolo in leading San Francisco to the Super Bowl.


Robby Anderson - New York Jets

Age 27, 6’3”

2019 Receiving - 16 games, 96 targets, 52 receptions, 779 yards, 15.0 yards per reception, 5 touchdowns, 3 drops, 3.7 yards after catch/per reception

No. 61 PFF Position Ranking

PFF Overall Grade: 68,6 (Above Average), Receiving 68.6. (Above Average), Rushing 55.6 (Average)

Anderson comes with a lot of off-field baggage, but he’s an explosive deep-threat that can stretch a defense. He will be dangerous in a stable football environment, but the Steelers would be likely to stay far away even if they had money to burn.


Randall Cobb - Dallas Cowboys

Age 29, 5’10”

2019 Receiving - 15 games, targets, 55 receptions, 828 yards, 3 15.1 yards per reception, touchdown, 9 drops, 6.0 yards after catch/per reception

No. 55 PFF Position Ranking

PFF Overall Grade: 69.9 (Above Average), Receiving 70.9 (Above Average), Rushing 58.0 (Average)

Cobb had a rebound in Big D, after a regression in Green Bay. He continues to be a risk for injury, but he could be a value veteran for many a team.


Other Notable Wide Receivers

Breshad Perriman - Tampa Bay Buccaneers

Randall Cobb - Dallas Cowboys

Demarcus Robinson - Kansas City Chiefs

Devin Funchess - Indianapolis Colts

Keelan Cole - Jacksonville Jaguars (RFA)

Josh Gordon - Seattle Seahawks

Nelson Agholar - Philadelphia Eagles

Seth Roberts - Baltimore Ravens


Poll

Regardless of affordability, what Free Agent Wide Receiver would you like the Steelers to sign in 2020?

This poll is closed

  • 26%
    Amari Cooper
    (737 votes)
  • 36%
    A.J. Green
    (1021 votes)
  • 9%
    Emmanuel Sanders
    (280 votes)
  • 5%
    Robby Anderson
    (166 votes)
  • 5%
    Breshad Perriman
    (147 votes)
  • 2%
    Demarcus Robinson
    (73 votes)
  • 2%
    Devin Funchess
    (69 votes)
  • 0%
    Keelan Cole
    (18 votes)
  • 3%
    Josh Gordon
    (110 votes)
  • 2%
    Nelson Agholar
    (62 votes)
  • 0%
    Seth Roberts
    (9 votes)
  • 4%
    Other
    (124 votes)
2816 votes total Vote Now