Data Points: Veteran WRs on the market

The best way to get a game-breaker in the passing game is through the draft. At least that’s how Arthur Blank, Thomas Dimitroff, and the rest of the Falcons brass feel. That’s why they had no concerns handing over several high picks last week to acquire Julio Jones.

But when it comes to acquiring a possession receiver, there may be some available when free agency eventually begins. So who potentially offers the most bang for the buck?

There are some well-known players who didn’t make the list of big names below, like T.J. Houshmandzadeh (ineffective in 2010), Malcom Floyd (almost there), and Randy Moss (done?), to name a few. Mike Sims-Walker is another guy that’s out there, but comes with some maturity concerns. Brad Smith can play, but is more of a do-it-all player than a number one option in the passing game.

The eight names below represent the wideouts who will garner the most attention in the marketplace. Taking each player’s last three full seasons — as well as their age — into account, it might surprise you who looks like the biggest bargain.

Vincent Jackson‘s and Sidney Rice‘s numbers reflect the 2007 through 2009 seasons, as both missed too much time for last season to be considered an accurate reflection of their productivity. Steve Smith‘s reception totals were hampered by his shortened 2010 (nine games). But considering production and age, he might be a better value than all the others.

— Elliot Harrison

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