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NFL Off Season Handicapping – WR Problems?

Your NFL Team Doesn’t Need a Star Wideout

This NFL off-season has seemed to be dominated by stories about big name wide receivers. These stories have either been off the field issues, mainly arrests and run-ins with the law, or trade demands. Brandon Marshall, Donte Stallworth, Plaxico Burress, Terrell Owens, and Anquan Boldin have all made the headlines of various sports outlets due to their behavior or demands.

Let’s take a look at if these receivers are worth the trouble for the current team or if your team should go out and make a trade for one of these stars.

Donte Stallworth and Terrell Owens have been in the headlines this off-season due to Stallworth’s DUI and manslaughter charge and Owen’s absence from some of Buffalo’s off-season workouts. Stallworth has had nowhere near the troubles of other skilled receivers, but then he is not at the same skill level as Owens, Boldin, Burress, or Marshall. Because of his lack of previous run-ins with the law, Cleveland is standing by him, especially after his huge plea deal. Meanwhile, Terrell Owens is another issue, and he may be a ticking time bomb this season. He wasn’t playing at as high of a level last year as in previous years, but now he has to go and play in the cold and windy conditions of Buffalo, which isn’t conducive to a potent passing game.


In addition, Buffalo arguably won’t be in the mix for a Super Bowl, which is what Owens wants to win badly. Essentially, there is a perfect storm brewing for T.O. because he won’t be as involved with offense as he’s used to, he won’t be playing at his usual high level, and the Bills will struggle just to make the playoffs. Look for another classic T.O. meltdown unless his agent Drew Rosenhaus can keep him under control.

The bulk of the stories this off-season have been generated by the trio of receivers Anquan Boldin, Brandon Marshall, and the most entertaining of them all, Chad Ocho Cinco, Johnson, Ochocinco, or whatever the hell he wants to be called. Boldin definitely has the only valid complaint of any receiver. He is one of the best receivers in the league, yet he continues to be disrespected by Arizona’s front office.

Boldin has also gone over 1,000 yards in receiving in 4 of his 6 seasons, and he is also only 28 years old. He would arguably be very motivated if a team would show appreciation for him with an appropriate contract, and he would also be out to prove to the Cardinals what they were missing. However, his downfalls are that he is injury prone, and his blowout on offensive coordinator Todd Haley was inexcusable.

Marshall has the most upside of any of the receivers because of his age and potential. However, he is a head case, and he has already had several off the field issues in his young career. Now Marshall is demanding to be traded because he senses the potential problems that the Broncos are in for this season. Overall the young receiver would not be worth the risk because his off the field issues are likely to get worse as his career progresses, especially when he either isn’t getting the ball or his team isn’t winning, similar to Terrell Owens.

Burress is another case of a receiver that isn’t worth the problems. Several players have said that he is one of the worst teammates they have ever seen, mainly because of his lackadaisical attitude toward practice and meetings. The Giants were lucky to get one Super Bowl with him, but it is unlikely that he will show any kind of consistency for the rest of his career.

An analysis of the Super Bowl winners over the last several seasons shows that the key isn’t usually having a star wide receiver.

In fact, almost every champion was without a mega star pass catcher. Baltimore, Pittsburgh, New England, and Tampa Bay won with defense, while other teams like Indianapolis, St. Louis, and Denver used a balanced passing offensive attack and a great quarterback to get their rings.

The best thing to hope for is that your team doesn’t get or have a problem ridden superstar wide receiver.

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  1. What is it about the wide receiver position that creates so many head cases in the NFL. Do they see themselves as Prima Donnas, or are jealous of all the attention and credit the QB gets for a touchdown? What ever the case may be, they need to get over themselves and just go out and play the game.