Sports

NFL Wide Receiver News, Rumors: Holmes, Edwards, Smith, Rice

| by Alex Groberman

News about of the NFL lockout ending on Monday was met with a collective sigh of relief. Then things got crazy. Really, really crazy.

Because of the prolonged summer period at which point teams could not make the moves that they needed to make for the coming year, a buildup of sorts occurred. And, of course, once the barrier to making those moves that was this tedious lockout was lifted, teams went insane, trying to do what they needed to do in a hurry.

As a result of how understandably difficult it is to keep track of all of the rumors and trade talks circulating right now, Opposing Views is making an effort to centralize all of the relevant information into one easy-to-access article. On Tuesday, we covered quarterbacks and cornerbacks. Since then, Donovan McNabb was supposedly on the verge of being traded to the Minnesota Vikings until some bumps in the road worked their way into the equation and Matt Hasselbeck is rumored to be taking his talents to the Tennessee Titans.

Today, we’ll take a look at wide receivers. The biggest names on the market are Santonio Holmes, Braylon Edwards, Steve Smith and Sidney Rice. Here is how it shakes out for all of the aforementioned stars:

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Santonio Holmes – From the very beginning, Holmes’ New York Jets made it clear that he was their top target in this free agency period -- and understandably so. With a tough, dedicated defense that has carried them far over the past two years, the focus needs to turn to offense and alleviating some of the pressure off of young quarterback, Mark Sanchez. Holmes is an extremely talented wide receiver that doesn’t come with the dropper reputation of an Edwards or the injury-prone reputation of Rice. Manish Mehta of the New York Daily News has reported that Holmes will get $24 million guaranteed from the Jets to stay at his current locale.

Braylon Edwards – The decision to re-sign Holmes likely spells the end of Edwards’ time with the Jets. A capable wide receiver coming off of his best yards-after-the-catch average in 2010, Edwards is plagued with seemingly non-stop off-the-field dramatics and a reputation as a guy who will drop the ball in crunch time situations. Interestingly enough, in a booming free agent market there is relatively little chatter about where Edwards will ultimately end up. The Washington Redskins are a rumored destination for Holmes, and the Jets are a possibility depending on how the Nnamdi Asomugha sweepstakes end up going.

Steve Smith – Once upon a time, Smith was one of the most undeniably explosive, game-changing wide receivers in the league. Now with a microfracture surgery on his resume, health is a very legitimate concern for all parties interested in acquiring Smith’s services. Although the talented receiver has made it clear that he wants out of Carolina, only the San Diego Chargers have indicated any kind of real interest in him. Plus, rookie passer Cam Newton has made it known that he would love to give it a go with Smith as his No. 1 target, so it will be interesting to see how that ends up playing out.

Sidney Rice – Rice is a very talented pass-catcher who missed 10 games last year. With slim pickings of sorts in this year’s available wide receiver group, his value is probably a bit higher than it would have been otherwise. As it stands, the two teams that are most desperately pining away for his services are currently the Seattle Seahawks and Minnesota Vikings.