The Atlanta Falcons could head to the free agent market to upgrade their depth at wide receiver. Olamide Zaccheaus was fourth on the team among wide receivers with only 20 catches, and with Julio Jones injuries in 2020, the WR4 spot was the WR3 position a lot of the year, and there was a big drop-off after Calvin Ridley and Russell Gage who had 90 and 72 receptions respectively.
The Falcons aren’t going to have a lot of money to spend. A fourth wide receiver will need to be cheap. Bargains can be had at wide receiver, and here are four receivers the Falcons could look at in free agency.
Kalif Raymond (27), Tennessee Titans, 9 catches, 20.8 yards, 0 TDs
A small sample size in 2020, Raymond’s 20.8 yards per catch is the highest among unrestricted free agents. His $690,000 salary in 2020 is sure to go up in 2021. He returned punts and kicks for the Titans. He’s on the smallish side at 5’8 and 182 pounds, but would fit nicely in the slot. Raymond was born in Lawrenceville, Ga. A former Titan from Georgia who is an unrestricted free agent? This one seems to make a lot of sense.
Rashard Higgins (27), Cleveland Browns, 37 catches, 599 yards, 4 TDs
Higgins has enjoyed a productive career in Cleveland. He was on the veteran minimum of $910,000 in 2020 and it’s going to cost the Browns a bit more than that to bring him back. At 6’1 and 200 pounds he has some size on him, which the back end of the Atlanta receiving corp. lacks. His 16.2 yards per receptions was a career high and would have led the Falcons. A bit of his concern is his penchant for putting the ball on the ground. He has six fumbles in his career. For reference, Julio Jones has 11 with five times the touches.
Spotrac rates Higgins’ market value at $6.1M. That would put him way out of the Falcons’ reach, but he’ll be worth a phone call to his agent for sure.
Mohamed Sanu (32), Detroit Lions, 17 catches, 187 yards, 1 TD
Sanu was good in Atlanta. He hasn’t been good since he left. His $1,050,000 2020 salary would be affordable in free agency for the Falcons. He has good size at 6’2 and 215 pounds and would help with the Falcons running game as a blocker. As a fourth receiver with the Falcons, he could be a dependable option and finish his career on a high note.
Laquon Treadwell (26), Atlanta Falcons, 6 catches, 49 yards, 2 TDs
Treadwell wasn’t with the Falcons long in 2020, only playing five games, but his two touchdowns in 2020 was only one behind Julio Jones, one of those stats that sounds impossible but is true. Treadwell was a first round pick of the Minnesota Vikings in 2016 and played four years there. At 6’2 and 215 pounds, he’s another big receiver option. His $910,000 annual salary in 2020 won’t be much more in 2021. He was worth a chance in 2020; he might be worth brining back in 2021.