Posts Tagged ‘steve smith’

That time of year again is here where NFL players have expired contracts and are either on the prowl for a new team or hoping to stay with their current team for a bigger contract.  Free agency can be a stressful for the fans, owners, and the players.  In the 2014 draft there were some players that were signed quickly because the team recognizes the value in keeping them, but we have also seen some high value players hit the free agency market due to either off field issues or cant afford them anymore.  What has been interesting is seeing how some teams have dived right into this and signed a bunch of players, and to see some teams sit back and let all the players slip through their fingers.  Some teams have had salary cap issues so it makes sense why they have been sitting back not doing anything; and they have been focusing on keeping their current players or waiting for the draft.  Some times the free agent period can make or break a team and its shaping up to be an interesting 2014 season.  Below are some of the big named receivers that have signed to new teams. 

Wide Receivers

1. Steve Smith – Went from the Panthers over to the Ravens.  The Ravens are giving him $11 million with a $3.5 million signing bonus for 3 years.  Even at the age of 35 Smith can still offer a lot to the struggling pass offense of the Ravens.  With Torrey Smith on the other side and Dennis Pitta across the middle it should be an open field for Steve Smith.  And we all know that Flacco could use another weapon in the offense.

2. Eric Decker – Went from the Broncos over to the Jets.  This was kind of surprising since he was in the best pass offense and he is now going to a team that had very serious pass issues.  Now Decker did hit pay dirt by signing a 5 year $36.25 million deal with $15 million being guaranteed money.  The Jets finally released Sanchez, but signed Michael Vick to replace him.  This is going to give Decker to shine now that he is out of the shadow of Thomas and Welker.

3. James Jones – Went from the Packers over to the Raiders.  I think this is a good move for Jones and his career.  The Raiders have added a lot of people to the roster already and with Jones being a deep threat it should add a lot of depth to the offense.  The Raiders added Matt Schaub and even though Schaub had a terrible 2013 campaign he should be able to connect with Jones.  We have to remember Schaub fed the ball to Andre Johnson for a lot of years so he should have no problem getting it to Jones.  Jones was bound to get picked up quick with how he has a knack for getting in the endzone. 

4. Golden Tate – Went from the Seahawks to the Lions.  I can see this going very well, or very bad.  Tate just helped the Seahawks win their first Super Bowl and now he is going to a team that has never been to the big game.  The plus is that the Lions is a pass happy team who has the best WR in the game in Calvin Johnson.  Now Stafford may not be the most consistent QB in the game, but he will have no problem getting the ball to both Tate and Johnson.

5. Hakeem Nicks – Went from the Giants to the Colts.  This is a great pickup for the Colts and I really think that Nicks needed to get away from the Giants.  As long as Nicks can stay healthy he should be able to have a fresh start with the Colts.  Andrew Luck is just getting better and better and Nicks could be a useful tool to help the team get farther in the playoffs.  Nicks was a big part of the offense in New York and when he was healthy he was almost unstoppable. 

Emmanuel Sanders – Went from Steelers to the Broncos
Andre Roberts – Went from Cardinals to the Redskins
Brandon LaFell – Went from Panthers to the Patriots
Devin Hester – Went from the Bears to the Falcons
Dexter McCluster – Went from Chiefs to Titans

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The NFL was founded back in 1920 and during that time the NFL was mostly a run oriented  league and teams were interested in drafting the best RB to make a championship team.  In the NFL today the league is dominated by WR that will go over 1,000 yards every season.  In todays game we measure how good a team is by who is “catching the ball”.  When your team has a solid WR you can make the big plays and score a lot of points where the run game takes more time and it is easier to defend the run then to defend the pass.  In this article I have gone over each NFL team and decided who I think was/is the best WR to ever play for that franchise.  Just like my previous articles, this is a subjective opinion and I am open to hear other peoples opinions on the subject.  I am basing my decisions on stats, years played, and how they impacted their team.

Denver Broncos – Rod Smith: Smith was a Bronco for 12 seasons and in 8 of those seasons he had over 1,000 yards.  He was a huge part in the Broncos Super Bowl run against the Falcons in Super Bowl 33; and he also made 3 Pro Bowls in his career.

Jacksonville Jaguars – Jimmy Smith: Even with the Jaguars being a young franchise they had one of the better receivers of our time.  Smith ranks in the top 20 for receptions and receiving yards all-time.  In 1999 he led the NFL in receptions with 116 and led the Jaguars to a 14-2 record.  Smith was a very underrated receiver but he will still be considered the best Jaguar receiver to date.

Houston Texans – Andre Johnson: The Texans are another young franchise but already they have one of the best receivers in the game today.  Andre Johnson has really been the only good receiver the Texans have ever had; so far.  Johnson has made 5 Pro Bowls and has had five 1,000 yard seasons.  He also has had 3 seasons with over 100 receptions, and has led the league in receptions on two different occasions. 

Baltimore Ravens – Derrick Mason: The Ravens have always been a defensive team and the Ravens have never really had a dominant receiver.  Mason had bounced around to other teams, but while on the Ravens he had four 1,000 yard seasons and was a steady and reliable receiver for the club for six seasons.  Mason played a total of 14 seasons in the NFL, and in my opinion his best years were when he was a Raven.

Miami Dolphins – Mark Clayton: This was Marinos main receiver in the 80’s.  Clayton was a five time Pro Bowler and had five 1,000 yard seasons.  With Marino throwing him the ball he was targeted a lot during his career, and when the Dolphins brought in Duper, it just opened up more lanes for Clayton.  In 1984, Clayton set an NFL record for touchdown catches in a single season with 18; that was also the same year Marino broke the record for TD passes in a season.

Oakland Raiders – Tim Brown: The Raiders have had some very pure receivers, but none were as good as Tim Brown, “Mr. Consistent”.  Brown went to the Pro Bowl nine times and had nine 1,000 yard seasons.  Brown was not only a threat on offense, but he was also a special teams threat on punt returns and kickoff returns.  Brown played with the Raiders for 16 seasons and had he been on a different team he could have been one of the best of all-time.

San Francisco 49ers – Jerry Rice: This was a simple choice.  Rice is probably the best WR to ever play in the NFL and he was a huge part of the Championship years for the 49ers.  Rice was a 13-time Pro Bowler, won 3 Super Bowls, Hall of Famer, Super Bowl MVP, and NFL MVP.  Rice holds pretty much every receiving record there is to hold and current receivers will be chasing his success for years to come.  Rice had over 200 career touchdowns, over 22,000 receiving yards, and over 1,500 receptions.

Minnesota Vikings – Cris Carter: Even though Carter started in Philadelphia; he will always be known for his success in Minnesota.  Carter was a touchdown machine and sometimes he was criticized him for “only catching touchdowns”.  Carter had seven consecutive 1,000 yard seasons, five straight double TD seasons, and he was a part of the 1998 Vikings that broke almost every scoring record.

Arizona Cardinals – Larry Fitzgerald: The Cardinals have had plenty of incredible receivers but none have been more reliable then Fitz.  He has now been to five Pro Bowls and almost took his team to a Super Bowl victory.  Fitz is known for being a very physical yet agile player who can make a catch anywhere on the field.  Fitz led the NFL in receiving touchdowns twice and led the NFL in receptions in 2005.  Fitz still has a lot of years left in the NFL and he could end up being one of the best of all-time.

Buffalo Bills – Andre Reed: I know some people may think I should have chose Eric Moulds, but pound for pound I think Reed was the greatest for the Bills.  Reed was a 7 time Pro Bowler and he played in 4 Super Bowls.  He never got to win a Super Bowl, but he was a very physical receiver who was not scared to go across the middle.  By the end of his career he totaled up over 13,000 receiving yards and 951 receptions.

Carolina Panthers – Steve Smith: Smith is a very small receiver, but what he lacks in size he makes up for in speed.  The Panthers are still a young franchise, but anyone who plays for the Panthers in the future are going to have a hard act to follow.  He has made it to 5 Pro Bowls, 2005 Comeback Player of the Year, and in 2005 he led the NFL in receiving yards, TDS, and receptions.  Smith is also a return specialist which makes him even more dangerous.  In my eyes, he is similar to Tim Brown.  He has already totaled up over 750 receptions and over 11,000 receiving yards.

Cincinnati Bengals – Chad “Ochocinco” Johnson: The Bengals have had good receivers, but Johnson was their first dominant receiver.  Johnson has made 6 Pro Bowls and helped lead the Bengals to their first division title in 15 years.  Johnson was a very vocal player who always put on a show, especially when he got in the end zone.  Johnson led the NFL in receiving yards in 2006 and holds numerous Bengals franchise records.  By the time he retired he totaled up 766 receptions and 11,059 receiving yards.

San Diego Chargers – Lance Alworth: Hands down this is the greatest WR to ever put on a Charger uniform.  On 3 separate occasions Alworth led the league in receptions, receiving yards, and touchdowns.  In 1963 Alworth led the Chargers to their first Championship and was also named Player of the Year.  Lance was named to 7 All-Star teams, made the Hall of Fame, #19 was retired, and made the NFL 75th Anniversary All-Time Team.

New England Patriots – Stanley Morgan: I was kind of torn between Morgan or Wes Welker, but as an overall player I think Morgan is better.  Morgan played with the Patriots for 13 seasons and led the NFL in yards per catch three different times.  In 1985 the Patriots became the AFC Champions and Morgan was a huge part of that.  Morgan made the Pro Bowl four different times, over 10,000 receiving yards, 72 TDs, and 557 receptions.

New York Giants – Frank Gifford: I almost decided to put Amani Toomer, but Gifford was a beast in his time.  Gifford player RB and WR and in 1956 Gifford was the NFL MVP and helped the Giants win the Championship that same year.  Gifford played 13 seasons with the Giants and was an eight-time Pro Bowler.  In 1977, Gifford was selected to go to the Hall of Fame.

Tampa Bay Buccaneers – Mark Carrier: Honestly, there really has never been a dominant WR to play for the Bucs.  They have had a long line of good receivers, but the person I picked was Carrier.  Carrier played for the Bucs for six seasons and in 1989 he caught 86 passes for 1,422 yards, and 9 TDs.  He did make the Pro Bowl in 1989 and ended his career with 48 TDs and 569 receptions.

Pittsburgh Steelers – Lynn Swann: The Steelers have had a long line of great receivers and this was a real hard decision.  Swann is now in the Hall of Fame, made the Pro Bowl three times, and led the NFL in receiving TDs one time.  Swann may not have had the highest numbers as some of the other Steeler greats, but what he did for the Steelers is what made him great.  Obviously John Stallworth and Hines Ward are both fantastic players, but overall Swann in my eyes will always be the best Steeler receiver.

Detroit Lions – Herman Moore: We all know that Calvin Johnson will most likely one day be the best Lion receiver, but until that time comes; Herman Moore will be the best.  Moore holds almost every franchise record for the Lions and holds career marks in receptions, receiving yards, and touchdowns.  In 1995, Moore set an NFL record for receptions in a single season with 123, he also had 14 TDs and over 1,600 receiving yards.  He made it to four Pro Bowls and he was the fastest player in NFL history to reach 600 receptions.

New Orleans Saints – Joe Horn: The Saints had a real rocky start, but Horn was a steady receiver for the club.  Horn was a Pro Bowler four times, he had three 1,300 yard seasons, and two 90 reception seasons.  He played 6 seasons for the Saints and was one of the most reliable players on the offense.  Even being on a losing team he still found a way to be one of the best Saints receivers of all-time.

Chicago Bears – Harlon Hill: The Bears have always been known for having some of the greatest running backs of all-time.  When it comes to receivers there have never really been an explosive Bears receiver except for Hill.  Harlon Hill won the NFL MVP in 1955 and he was also the Rookie of the Year in 1955.  Even though he had a lot of injuries he still managed to make 3 All-Pro teams.

Dallas Cowboys – Michael Irvin: One of the most fantastic receivers to ever play.  Irvin was known as “The Playmaker”, and he was the main target in Dallas for a long time.  Irvin made five different Pro Bowls, 3 Super Bowl Championships, 1991 Pro Bowl MVP, and in 2007 was inducted into the Hall of Fame.  When Irvin retired he racked up 750 receptions, 11,904 receiving yards, and 65 touchdowns.

Indianapolis Colts – Marvin Harrison: People sometimes really forget how good Marvin really was.  He was a quiet guy who just did his job day in and day out.  Harrison had eight consecutive 1,000 yard seasons, and had double digit TD seasons in all of those years.  He never had a season with less than 82 receptions.  He led the NFL in receptions twice, receiving yards twice, and TDs once.  He still holds the record for receptions in a single season with 143.

New York Jets – Don Maynard: He played during the AFL days in the 1960s.  He was a 4 time Pro Bowler and he led the league in receiving yards and TDs in 1969.  He spent 12 seasons with the Jets and he was inducted into the Hall of Fame.  He ended his career with 633 receptions, 11,834 receiving yards, and 88 TDs.

St. Louis Rams – Isaac Bruce: Bruce played 14 seasons with the Rams and during that time he established himself as one of the best in franchise history.  Bruce was the Rams Rookie of the Year and has gone to 4 Pro Bowls.  The Rams eventually retired his number, and took the Rams to their first Super Bowl victory.  Combined with Torrey Holt the Rams had one of the best passing games in the NFL.  Bruce ended his career with 1,024 receptions, 15,208 receiving yards, and 91 TDs.

Atlanta Falcons – Terance Mathis: Eventually either Julio Jones or Roddy White could take this title away from Mathis, but for right now Mathis is the best to ever play for the Falcons.  Mathis played with the Falcons for 7 seasons and took them to the Super Bowl for the first time.  He made the Pro Bowl the first year he was on the team and he eneded his career with 689 receptions, 8,809 receiving yards, and 63 TDs.

Cleveland Browns – Gary Collins: In the history of the Browns you will find a good number of running backs, but not so many good receivers.  Collins  won the MVP award in the Championship game in 1964 when he caught 3 TD passes in one game.  Collins still ranks on top of the franchise in receiving TDs and is second in receptions only behind Ozzie Newsome.

Washington Redskins – Art Monk: Monk was the first player to record over 100 receptions in a season and over 900 receptions in a career.  Monk won 3 Super Bowls and was a three time Pro Bowler.  Monk played for the Redskins for 13 seasons and when he finally retired he had 940 receptions, 12,721 receiving yards, and 68 TDs.  It took him awhile, but he finally was inducted into the Hall of Fame in 2008.

Seattle Seahawks – Steve Largent: When Largent retired in 1989 he was the career leader in all major receiving categories in receptions (819), receiving yards (13,089), and TDs (100).  He also held a record for most consecutive games with a reception with a 177-game streak.  Largent made it to 7 Pro Bowls and was aprt of the 1980s All Decade Team.  The Seahawks were not a good team at the time and it is amazing to see what Largent could do with little or no help around him.

Tennessee Titans – Drew Hill: The Oilers played a run and shoot offense which put a lot of pressure on the QB.  So Hill was targeted a lot by Warren Moon in his career.  Hill was a two time Pro Bowler and had five 1,000 yard seasons and was part of one of the most prolific passing attacks in NFL history.  When he finally retired he totaled up 634 receptions, 9,831 receiving yards, and 60 TDs.

Kansas City Chiefs – Otis Taylor: Taylor is an easy choice to be the best Chiefs receiver.  Taylor made the Pro Bowl two times and was a key piece in the Chiefs first Super Bowl Championship.  He also led the Chiefs to an AFL Championship.  Even 40 years after Taylor retired he still is second in all major receiving categories.

Green Bay Packers – Sterling Sharpe: In his short 7 year career he made 5 Pro Bowls and led the NFL in receptions on three different occasions.  He also led the NFL in receiving TDs two different times.  His brother Shannon Sharpe also became another superstar in the NFL.  He broke Art Monks single season receptions record in 1992 with 107 receptions; then he broke his own record the following year by catching 112 passes.  In 1994, his 18 TD receptions in a single season was second to Jerry Rice.

Philadelphia Eagles – Harold Carmichael: Harold stood at an amazing 6 foot 8 and he just towered over everybody.  he made the Pro Bowl 4 times and he played for the Eagles for 13 seasons.  In 1973, he led the NFL in receptions and receiving yards.  he was one of the main reasons the Eagles went to the Super Bowl, but fell short to the Raiders.  Carmichael was named to the 1970s All Decade Team and will remain the best receiver to play with the Eagles.