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Options thin at receiver

August 6th, 2009

The free agent market is fairly depleted at the receiver position. Most of the players available are either too old, too crappy, or too injured to be considered capable fixes at the position.

For the time being it makes the most sense to move Michael Jenkins over to split end, and work Brian Finneran into the starting lineup at the flanker position. But the team needs a better option than Jenkins at that spot, at least until Roddy White is back into the fold. Ideally, White will be back soon, and whoever the team added can slide into the slot, taking over for Douglas.

The biggest name on the list of remaining free agents is Marvin Harrison. Harrison still probably has something left in the tank, but he spent his entire career in Indianapolis at flanker. Two other big names that at least played split end during their careers are Jerry Porter and Reggie Williams. Porter is coming off a late 2008 groin injury, and there’s still a chance that Reggie Williams might be suspended for part of this upcoming season based off some off-field off-season incidents this past spring. Matt Jones is also available, but he too is a flanker, and is probably one beer away from being suspended (again). Old man Ike Hilliard is out there, can help at receiver and also contribute as a punt returner. But he’s never been a productive punt returner, so he’d be more an option on offense in the slot.

As for return threats, the team can look at Dante Hall. He’s no longer the player he used to be, but he’s still a productive punt returner, averaging 10.3 yards on 9 returns last season. Another option would be ex-Chief Kevin Robinson, who is a bit younger with some more upside. Neither player however offers much help on offense, at least not significantly more than any of the other camp bodies the team has already at the position. Remember Eddie Drummond, he’s a free agent right now as well.

Another name to keep your eye on would be Dexter Jackson. He’s currently a Buc, but he’s probably on the trade block this summer if he doesn’t show a lot of things on offense for them. It’s doubtful the Bucs would trade their 2008 2nd round pick to a division rival, but it might be worth exploring. Some other trade possibilities that could Arnaz Battle (49ers) or Chris Davis (Titans).

At this point, the Falcons may even try calling up Troy Brown to see if he is willing to come out of retirement and suit it up one last time.

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