Originally posted on Bleed Black & Gold  |  Last updated 3/5/12

As if interest in Mike Wallace was not big enough already it just got bigger.  Teams have started to lay out franchise tags and sign their guys.  What was a 9 deep class of Wide Receivers is now down to 5, possibly 4.  It should not get smaller unless something crazy happens in the next day or so.

The list started with some real big names.  Guys like Wes Welker, Dwayne Bowe and DeSean Jackson have been franchised.  The Bills have just signed Steve Johnson to a new contract.  It looks like Brandon Lloyd may be franchised today and if not wants to go to New England and be with Josh McDaniels.  It is still up in the air though.  I will leave him on the list for now.  That leaves the 5 guys.

Wide Receivers left on the market:

  • Vincent Jackson- Jackson is the number one unrestricted receiver on the market.  He is a great big receiver and can go up and get the ball.  When he is not in trouble he is a top 10 receiver in the NFL.  Jackson wants to stay in San Diego but wants a long term deal.  If they can get him one that is where he will be. 
  • Marques Colston- Colston is 28 and is very injury prone.  When on the field he is almost unguardable.  He will get his money will be a big target on the market.  He may race out of New Orleans with the mess that is going on.
  • Reggie Wayne- Wayne is being talked about as a package deal with Peyton Manning if possible.  Wayne also did not reach 1000 yards last season.  Wayne is also going to 34 this year.  He only has a few years left.  He will not live up to the 4-5 year deal he is going to want.
  • Brandon Lloyd- See Paragraph 2.

There are 25 teams that need receiver help and could make a play for Wallace or any of these guys.  Once you see Vincent Jackson and Maques Colston signed Wallace could be the next name on the list.  Wayne is old.  Lloyd wants to be with McDaniels.  The options are limited.  None of them can do what Wallace could do for your team.

The draft is filled with receivers but none that could make an impact like Wallace.  I still think he will end up back with the team.  A first round pick is to valuable after the signing of the CBA.  The small number you can pay a first rounder for 4 years doesn’t match what you have to pay Wallace.  You have to take away anyone in the top 15 though.  They will not give up that pick for Wallace.   Someone who is close could still make a play but chances are slight.  The biggest worry right now I think is San Francisco.  With the number of guys who are now off the market who used to be on could change that scenario.

We will see in the next few weeks though.

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