Houston (CBS Houston) – If the Texans were looking to add a wide receiver through free agency this offseason, the pool just got a little smaller. The AFC South addressed wide receiver concerns in the free agency with two signings on April 1st.
The Tennessee Titans signed former Texan wide receiver Kevin Walter to a one-year deal Monday. Walter, 31, who played seven seasons with the Texans, was released to free up $2.5 million under the salary cap. In 2012 Walter averaged 12.3 yards per reception and scored 2 touchdowns. The ten-year veteran joins Nate Washington and Kenny Britt in Tennessee.
The Indianapolis Colts signed Darius Heyward-Bey, who was released by Oakland March 12, to a one-year contract reportedly worth $3 million and $1.5 million in guarantees. The Colts were looking to replace Donnie Avery whom they lost in free agency to Kansas City. Heyward-Bey was the number 7 overall pick in the 2009 draft and averaged 14.8 yards per reception and scored five touchdowns in 2012.
The Best Of The Rest?
Will the Texans address their wide receiver needs through the draft or in free agency? Top-tier receivers like Wes Welker and Greg Jennings signed early but some second-tier receivers are still looking for contracts. A value pick-up would allow the Texans to fill roster spots without breaking the bank, giving them flexibility to draft other positions. The Texans may still draft at wide receiver, but a veteran free agent adds much needed depth that could make an immediate impact. Here are some interesting wideouts that are still available.
Brandon Lloyd lasted only one season in New England and was released when both parties failed to reach agreement on restructuring his 3-year, $12 million contract. Lloyd, 31, had a season high of ten touchdowns in 2010 with Denver. His productivity makes him one of the best free agent wide receivers out there, but he may be demanding more than the Texans can afford.
Steve Breaston, was released by Kansas City this offseason. The six-year veteran spent his first four years in Arizona and signed a 5-year, $22.5 million deal with Kansas City in 2011. Breaston could be signed for considerably less than Lloyd.
Domenik Hixon is a free agent after being released by the Giants. Hixon’s numbers appear lackluster at first glance, especially behind Hakeem Nicks and Victor Cruz. He did step up and produce big numbers when Nicks was out with a knee injury. Hixon can also offer versatility on special teams and as a return specialist. The Lions offered Hixon a contract but he turned it down and continues meeting with teams.
Laurent Robinson is a free agent after signing a 5-year, $32.5 million with Jacksonville in 2012. He did suffer four concussions with the Jaguars which was disappointing after his 2011 breakout season with the Cowboys.
Josh Cribbs has spent his entire career in Cleveland from 2005-2012 and is now out in free agent land. Cribbs is currently recovering from offseason arthroscopic knee surgery but he did pass a physical with the Cardinals. Arizona may want knee fully healed before they sign him.
Julian Edelman never had much production under the shadow of Wes Welker in New England. Ironically, now that Welker is gone, so is Edelman. Edelman was placed on IR after injuring his foot in December but not after scoring five touchdowns on the season.
David Nelson was not tendered by Buffalo for 2013 which makes him an unrestricted free agent. Nelson tore his ACL in the Bills’ Week 1 loss. Nelson put up stellar numbers in his first two seasons with the Bills and could put up similar numbers depending on his recovery.
Would any of these names spark any interest from the Texans?