With the 2020-21 NFL season in the closing stages, select franchises are looking towards the 2021 free agency class in hopes of filling voids of their respective rosters. With that, we will continue our series with the top available wide receivers:
Honorable Mentions: Will Fuller, A.J. Green, Allen Lazard, Sammy Watkins
T.Y. Hilton, Indianapolis Colts
After agreeing to a five-year, $65 million deal with the Indianapolis Colts in 2015, Hilton is finally scheduled to hit free agency at the age of 31. However, his production over the last two seasons has declined slightly. Last season in 15 games, Hilton was responsible for 735 receiving yards and four touchdowns. His catching percentage of 61.6% was the lowest its been since 2017, but the Colts have still managed to find success on offense. He won’t be expensive in free agency, but his loyalty to Indianapolis over the last nine seasons speaks volumes.
Kenny Golladay, Detroit Lions
This is an interesting case, as Golladay only appeared in five games this past season. Still, his sample size from the two seasons before that details his ability to find the end zone. In 47 career games, he has totaled 21 touchdowns; including a league-high 11 scores during the 2019 season. There is no telling how popular the wide receiver market will be in 2021, but surely there will be a suitor for Golladay.
Juju Smith-Schuster, Pittsburgh Steelers
On the final year of his rookie contract, Smith-Schuster will aim to get paid a lucrative amount during free agency. He has found the end zone on seven or more occasions in three of his first four seasons and holds 3,600+ career receiving yards to this point. The Pittsburgh Steelers will have multiple contracts to address this offseason, and Smith-Schuster will be a likely target in free agency if he is permitted to explore alternative destinations.
Chris Godwin, Tampa Bay Buccaneers
In a similar situation to Smith-Schuster and other notable players, Godwin recently finished the final season of his rookie contract. The peak of his play came from the 2019 season, where he totaled 1,333 receiving yards and nine touchdowns en route to a Pro Bowl campaign. Even with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers adding the likes of Antonio Brown and Leonard Fournette to their roster, Godwin totaled 60 receptions for 707 receiving yards and five touchdowns. Last season for Godwin marked a career-high 77.9% catching percentage.
Allen Robinson, Chicago Bears
Owed $15 million from the 2020 season, Robinson will enter free agency at the age of 27. This past season saw him total 1,213 receiving yards and a 68.5% catching percentage; both the highest totals since his standout 2015 campaign. The Bears don’t have much room to work with in terms of cap space for 2021 (22nd in the NFL), and have only appeared in one playoff game since Robinson joined the team. Could it be time for a change of scenery?