Texans 2011 NFL Free Agency Targets: Wide Receivers

Mike Sims-Walker has been rumored to already have the interest of the Texans front office...

There were many expectations this year of the Texans taking a Wide Receiver in the draft and saying goodbye to the underachieving Jacoby Jones. However, the team tendered him (which I know is meaningless right now) and did not select a receiver in this year's draft. 

With this fact, the theory has now shifted to free agency, whenever it should happen. So let us look at some of the names that could possibly be an option as an upgrade at the WR2 spot on the roster via free agency after the jump.

Santonio Holmes (NYJ) - Even in a shortened year and a lackluster QB throwing him the ball, Holmes put up solid numbers in New York last season. However, with "character issues" being the reason that his season was shortened by four games last year, I would think that he isn't on Bob's "safe" list.

Mike Sims-Walker (JAX) - It was heavily rumored that the Texans were showing interest in him earlier this year. At times, it seems that a lot of guys who have a not-so-good breakup with their former teams like to stay within the division. The guy has been labeled a cancer and a knucklehead, and even Jags fans were ready to pack his bags for him. But Walker next to Andre has some big play potential. I could see this one happening if the team views him as a "change of scenery" type guy. 

Steve Smith (NYG) - Smith had a breakout year in 2009 and then struggled with injuries in 2010, including a knee issue that ended his season. He may not even be ready for the start of the 2011 campaign, so he won't demand big dollars. Hell of a possession receiver that could be a nice addition if his knee checks out.

Sidney Rice (MIN) - After a monster season in 2009, he missed most of the 2010 effort after waiting until August to have a hip surgery procedure. Teams might be opening the checkbook for him, so it might be out of the Texans' price range. Regardless of the fact that he's coming off of an injury, he's going to get paid.

Terrell Owens (CIN) - Besides the fact that this one has zero chance of happening, T.O. had a pretty solid year last season. Still, if you even wear out your welcome with the Bengals, it's unlikely that anyone is going to sign you. He still has talent and would come cheap, but there is just no way it happens here. It might not happen anywhere.

Steve Breaston (ARZ) - Another guy who has terrific potential and talent but just can't stay healthy. It also has been a knock against him that his numbers are only high because of lining up with Larry Fitzgerald. When you would replace that with Andre Johnson, that isn't really much of a red flag. I could see some interest based on a clean bill of health.

Eric Weems (ATL) - This guy would be as a sixth WR and brought in only for his special teams talent. Weems is electric in the return game and a threat to take it to the house every time he receives a kick (even thought the stupid rule changes are going to take the fun out of kick returns, IMO). Unlikely, since he doesn't have the best hands to play receiver. More of a guy to make Jacoby expendable in the kick return game.

Braylon Edwards (NYJ) - Too expensive and too much of a loud mouth. No way does this team pay for him, regardless of his talent. 

Malcolm Floyd (SD) - Floyd was having a terrific season for the Chargers while Vincent Jackson was out but then battled injuries and fell off the map once Jackson returned. An affordable option with big play potential, he averaged 19.4 yards per catch in 2010.

James Jones (GB) - This guy reminds me of Jacoby in so many ways. He has all the talent in the world and the team set him up for success, but he hasn't really been able to snag a starting position. Sounds pretty familiar, doesn't it?

Lance Moore (NO) - He had a big year in 2010 for the Saints and will likely pull down a Kevin Walter type contract for it. Moore is a terrific slot receiver capable of big plays. I feel like we already have this guy on the roster in Kevin Walter.

Santana Moss (WAS) - I was shocked to see that Moss is only 32 years old, because his speed declined so much last year that I thought he was at least 36. No way could I see him as a WR2 guy anymore.

Mark Clayton (STL) - After a rough divorce in Baltimore, Clayton was having a decent year with the Rams before season-ending knee surgery. Another guy who won't demand big money and could be a great value if healthy.

Randy Moss (NE/MIN/TEN) - While doing approximately nothing for three teams last year, many are assuming that Randy Moss is done. He has a poor attitude, poor work ethic and a big mouth--three things this current administration would show zero interest in. No chance in hell.

T.J. Houshmandzadeh (BAL) - He didn't look abysmal in Baltimore, but many expected more from him after being paired up with Anquan Boldin. I'll give him the benefit of the doubt since I'm still not a believer in Joe Flacco. But at 33 and clearly on the decline, it's unlikely.

Some other guys who could get a look are Legedu Naanee (SD), Courtney Roby (NO), Danny Amendola (tendered by STL), Devin Aromashodu (CHI), Adrian Arrington (NO, Derek Hagan (NYG), Sam Hurd (DAL) and Laurent Robinson (STL).

Personally, none of these guys really grab my attention as a potential big addition. I'm a little more on the fence with Jacoby, whereas most people have strong opinions on him one way or the other. Part of me says give him another year to succeed, while the other side of me says that feeling is only because this free agent class isn't anything special.

I'm still not a believer in Kevin Walter as a WR2, and I think pretty much everyone agrees there. He is valuable in this offense for some of the things he can do, like his blocking, but he has zero big play potential and isn't striking fear into opposing NFL defensive coordinators who must game plan for him.

While I haven't been quite as high on him as others, I'm anxious to see if Dorin Dickerson has made improvements over the offseasonm and if he is indeed going to be a player on this team for the future at wide receiver.

If I had to go after one of these guys on the above named list that I think is a realistic option for Houston, it'd probably be Mike Sims-Walker. I know he has flags; many guys in the Texans blogosphere aren't really fans of his and he never put up crazy numbers in Jacksonville. But he also never had a guy like Andre Johnson sharing the field with him or a quarterback as efficient as Matt Schaub. I could see him having a pretty good year in this offense.

What about you guys? Any of the above names blowin' your skirts up?

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