Some of these players are rumored cuts and some are potential free agents. There is no guarantee that any of these players will be available since they could be resigned or franchise tagged but there is a possibility of it. It could provide us an interesting conversation anyway.
I really want the Raiders to go after one of these players this off-season. The Raiders have a lot of talent at receiver but none of them are a number 1. Adding any one of these players gives the Raiders a true number one receiver and frees up more space on the field for the other Raider receivers.
Greg Jennings-WR Green Bay: It seems to be an almost foregone conclusion that Jennings will be playing somewhere else next season. The Packers have plenty of young talent at WR to let Jennings walk and even he has been quoted as knowing that its unlikely he will be resigned.
I love Jennings and he is an immediate upgrade at WR, although his size at 5'11 and 198lbs is a minus. I want a big body WR to be the Raiders number 1 but Jennings has proven to be a number 1 despite his smaller stature. He also will be turning 30 next year so he isn't young although for a WR he also isn't too old yet either. His attitude and veteran presence would be a major asset to the Raiders.
Mike Wallace-WR Pittsburgh: It was an ugly off-season last year for Wallace who ended up being franchised tagged this past year. To franchise him a second year means a 10% increase over last year's franchise tag salary and I don't see Pittsburgh doing that.
Despite missing the off-season in dispute Wallace has still had a great year but the Steelers still might not be willing to pay him the type of money he wants. He is one of the best wide receivers in football and runs the deep route better than anybody else. He is similar in size to Greg Jennings at 6ft 199lbs but is younger as he will be only 27 next year.
Dwayne Bowe-Kansas City: At 6'2 and 221lbs this is the big body number 1 WR the Raiders really need. Despite horrific QB play throughout his career in KC he has always been solid. He has gotten a bad rep by some for being perceived as a complainer but I believe that to be drastically over dramatized. He seems to me like somebody who simply goes about his business quietly and I appreciate that a lot about him.
Bowe has been quoted as saying he doesn't want to leave the Chiefs but that could be just a bargaining ploy to get the Chiefs to up their offers. If he becomes available he is definitely the number one free agent I would want for the Raiders. He will be 29 next year.
Victor Cruz -NY Giants: I am including him here but of all the people on this list he is the least likely to be available. I would be shocked if he doesn't sign long term with the Giants, although this season has not been the follow up he hoped for. He is very similar to Mike Wallace both in size at 6ft and 204lbs and big play ability.
Cruz also shows great character with his salsa dance being a family tribute and with the way he has put himself out there with the family of Jack Pinto who is one of the child victims (RIP) of the horrific shooting in Connecticut. The way he has been with the Pinto family has been selfless and sincere. He will stay a Giant almost for sure though and he will be 27 next year so he should be around for a long time yet.
Wes Welker -New England: After the first week of the season the media blew up about Welker being phased out of the Patriots offense. Since then he has over 100 catches and averages at least 8 targets a game. If that's phased out I don't even want to know what involved would be. Still the Patriots live by the philosophy of moving on a year early over a year late so his remaining in Pats gear is still in question.
Wes will be 32 next year but he doesn't seem to play much different now than he did at 27. He is only 5'9 and 185lbs and thrives on short quick routes. I don't see him as a fit with the Raiders though and I am not overly interested in him joining Oakland. He is a great WR who might be available next year though so he definitely deserves mention in this article.
The money is an issue but whatever the Raiders need to do to open up money for a Dwayne Bowe or a Mike Wallace I am completely for. There are players that come along that are worth the investment even if it's hard to make happen and this is a rare year where so many of those worthy players could become available at a position of need. I believe the benefit of adding one of these guys would be exponentially worth it.
Is Wide Receiver our number 1 need? No it is not, but it certainly is still in an area that is lacking. There is also the best player available argument in effect here. I think the absolute best player that might become available is Jake Long but next after him It definitely goes to one of these wide receivers listed. That makes it possible for the philosophy of best player available to be successful with the benefit of it also fitting a need for the Raiders.