There were plenty of second-tier wide receivers available at the start of NFL free agency, and the St. Louis Rams seemed to have a hand on most of them. Then Mario Manningham picked the San Francisco 49ers, Brandon Lloyd signed with the New England Patriots, and Laurent Robinson—well, it's not really that important. Now the Rams awake to a group of free agent wide receivers with problems at least as glaring as the ones on their existing models. Braylon Edwards, Early Doucet, and Giants Steve Smith are the relevant examples.
Edwards was outstanding in 2007, when he caught 80 balls for 1289 yards, and pretty good in 2010, but his problems with holding onto the ball when it hits his hands and staying healthy are both well-documented. Early Doucet is an injury-prone third receiver, much like every other wide receiver on the St. Louis Rams. Steve Smith is Danario Alexander with a year in which he miraculously stayed healthy.
Such is the nature of bargain-hunting—occasionally that shirt you find at Goodwill fits you perfectly, and occasionally Braylon Edwards has another 2010 left in the tank, but most of the time you're just trying on a shirt somebody else threw out.
More wide receiver talk from SB Nation St. Louis:
- The Brandon Lloyd contract proved the wide receiver market is, weirdly, both cheap and empty.
- Thanks, perhaps, to the idea of catching balls from Peyton Manning, Mario Manningham signed a two-year deal with the San Francisco 49ers.
- Of course, the Rams could trade some picks for a wide receiver—which would be good, since otherwise they'll have to use them.