WRs cleaning up in free agency

March 13, 2012

As the NFL has turned into a passing league, the having a No. 1 wide receiver has become a necessity.

Several wideouts have received big-time contracts in the first two days of the new league year, but none are more surprising than the Redskins' signing of Pierre Garcon.

Garcon, who is coming off the best season of his career, hauled in a five-year, $42.5 million deal — including $21.5 million in guaranteed money — on Tuesday.

"I wanted you all to hear it from me 1st before u saw it on the news... I will be signing with the Washington Redskins and I'm very excited about the opportunity in front of me," Garcon wrote on Facebook.


Garcon was productive in Indianapolis alongside Reggie Wayne, who scored a three-year deal with the Colts Tuesday. But questions remain about how well Garcon can separate from lockdown cornerbacks as a No. 1 receiver.

Although Garcon scored a mega-deal with the ‘Skins, he wasn’t alone.

Tampa Bay got quarterback Josh Freeman a vertical threat in Vincent Jackson, who started all 16 games in 2011. Following a holdout and team suspension, Jackson played in just five games in 2010 and was slapped with the franchise tag last offseason. Jackson was finally given the opportunity to test free agency and was lured away from San Diego by the Bucs.

The Chargers responded hours later, agreeing to terms with former Saints receiver Robert Meachem. Meachem, who was taken in the first round of the 2007 NFL Draft, had been a consistent contributor to the Saints’ offense, but was never looked upon as a primary threat. He will now assume that responsibility in San Diego, as the Chargers’ receiving corps is very raw.

Although the Saints couldn’t retain all of their weapons, they were able to keep Marques Colston. As the clock neared 4 p.m. ET on Tuesday, the beginning of free agency, it was reported by FOXSports.com’s Jay Glazer that the Saints agreed to a five-year deal with Drew Brees’ favorite target.

But the biggest splash so far has been the monster contract extension Lions wide receiver Calvin Johnson received on Wednesday morning. Johnson signed an eight-year contract worth up to $132 million. The Georgia Tech product becomes the highest paid player at the position, surpassing the Cardinals’ Larry Fitzgerald, who earned an eight-year deal worth up to $120 million last August.