Teams in need of a play-making wide receiver are weighing their options between Braylon Edwards, Randy Moss and Plaxico Burress. While each of these veteran wideouts bring unique skills to the table, they also come with inherent risks. Teams must carefully decide if the payoff is worth the gamble.
Let's take a look at the talented trio:
Edwards previously has been labeled an underachiever, but he is coming off a pair of solid seasons with the Jets. He has averaged 16.4 yards per catch and scored 11 touchdowns in the past 28 games, while showing big-time skills as a vertical playmaker. He seems to have solved the drop problems he had in Cleveland and is a solid route runner capable of fitting into any system. While his flamboyant personality and questionable off-field antics detract from his solid skill set, Edwards has the game to be a No. 1 target.
Where does he fit? The New York Jets would be the ideal fit at the right price, but their interest in Nnamdi Asomugha might prevent them from actively pursuing Edwards. If he is forced to look elsewhere for work, the Vikings and Rams could be terrific landing spots. He is capable of thriving as a lead receiver in both systems, while giving their young signal-callers a big, talented playmaker over the middle.
Moss is considered by some to be washed up after amassing only 28 receptions for 393 yards and five touchdowns during a three-team tour in 2010. He didn't play with the same energy and enthusiasm that made him one of the most feared receivers in the league for most of his 13-year career. While Moss still flashed the ability to get deep on vertical routes, he doesn't show the same burst or acceleration that has been a hallmark of his game. Moss' disinterest and lack of motivation makes it hard for scouts and coaches to properly assess how much he has to offer a team at this stage of his career.
Where does he fit? Moss is always at his best when he trying to prove naysayers wrong, and the Jets offer him the ideal stage to do so. He could function as their vertical playmaker opposite Santonio Holmes and provide Mark Sanchez with a big target. In addition, he would benefit from playing with a team that features a prominent running game. With more one-on-one opportunities created from facing eight-man fronts, Moss might produce the kind of numbers we are used to seeing from the perennial Pro Bowler.
It is hard to determine Burress' skill level at this time due to his lengthy layoff following his incarceration. At the time of his departure, however, he was one of the best playmakers in the league who routinely overwhelmed defenders in isolated match-ups. His superior size enables him to win contested balls in the red zone, while also allowing him to make explosive plays on short passes due to his ability to run through tackles. Although he isn't a precise route runner, his athleticism and ball skills make him a dangerous weapon.
Where does he fit? Burress is an attractive option as a red-zone threat despite the rust that will certainly appear on his game. Going somewhere that allows him to serve as a situational player until he can find his rhythm is ideal. In addition, he needs the presence of a head coach with a strong personality to hold him accountable for his performance. Teams like the Steelers, Jets and Giants would be ideal fits based on their supporting casts and coaching staffs.