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Teams searching for a receiver will have plenty of options

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  • By Pat Kirwan NFL.com
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Signing a receiver late in the summer is risky business because it takes time to develop a rapport with quarterbacks. Either way, there are some very good wideouts available, and they will get paid. Here’s a look at my top five wideouts expected to be available and some other options.

1. Santonio Holmes

The Super Bowl XLIII hero is an explosive player with route-running skills and good hands. Holmes had 52 receptions in 12 games last year for the Jets, and 79 catches for 1,248 yards in Pittsburgh in 2009.

David Drapkin/Associated Press

2. Sidney Rice

If I was sure he was 100 percent healthy, Rice would be the No. 1 receiver in free agency. In 2009, Brett Favre called him the best receiver he ever threw to. Rice has Randy Moss skills and can make the acrobatic catch. In 22 games with Favre, Rice caught 100 passes at 16 yards per reception. Rice's age, 25 when the season starts, sweetens the pot.

Hannah Foslien/Associated Press

3. Braylon Edwards

Teams looking for a strong outside receiver with leaping ability and big-play potential have Edwards on their radar screen. He has had maturity issues in the past, but, at 28, he should be growing out of it. His bad-hands problem in Cleveland appears to be behind him, as he dropped just two balls with the Jets in 2010.

AJ Mast/Associated Press

4. Lance Moore

Moore has 20 touchdowns and 159 receptions in his past 39 games. He's an ideal fit for a team in need of a slot receiver. He also can be a punt returner or at least the backup.

Gerald Herbert/Associated Press

5. Santana Moss

Even though Moss is 32, he's still productive and a solid guy in the locker room. He caught 93 passes last year, moved the chains 61 times and had 610 yards after the catch. If the Giants' Steve Smith was healthy, he might have been in this spot.

Kathy Willens/Associated Press

6. Salary-cap casualties

Personnel people have studied Chad Ochocinco, Bernard Berrian and Michael Jenkins should they hit the open market. Also, it's possible Carolina's Steve Smith will be available in a trade.

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7. Honorable mention

Terrell Owens, Plaxico Burress, T.J. Houshmandzadeh and Randy Moss are also available. Burress is the wild card of this group. One general manager told me, if Burress is in shape, he would sign him and expect him to return to his previous form. T.O. had knee surgery in the spring and is 37. Still, Owens did catch 72 balls and score nine times for the Bengals last season.

Associated Press

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