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KANSAS CITY CHIEFS

SAD NEWS: After the additions of Odell Beckham and Chase Claypool top free-agent wide receivers are still available

There’s been a mini run on wide receivers in the week after the draft with several wideouts inking deals with new teams.

It started when D.J. Chark inked a one-year, $5 million deal with the Los Angeles Chargers, followed by Chase Claypool agreeing to a one-year deal with the Buffalo Bills and Odell Beckham Jr. signing a one-year deal worth up to $8.25M with the Miami Dolphins.

As teams begin to fill out their roster in preparation for OTAs and mini-camp, it’s likely several other receivers find new homes soon. Here are the top five free-agent WRs available.

1. Tyler Boyd

In a third-string role for the Bengals the last few years, Boyd has averaged 64 receptions and 752 yards per season while scoring 12 touchdowns and surpassing the typical production for a No. 3 receiver. In the right offense, he could be a high-end No. 3 or a solid No. 2 option (he had back-to-back 1,000-yard seasons in 2018 and 2019).

Boyd has visited the Los Angeles Chargers and Tennessee Titans recently. L.A. signed Chark so that likely takes it out of the running for Boyd, but Tennessee could still be interested. Some concern exists about Treylon Burks’ health, and the Titans want to surround quarterback Will Levis with as many weapons as possible.

2. Zay Jones

A combination of injuries and Calvin Ridley’s presence limited Jones’ production last season, as he finished the year with just 34 catches, 321 yards and two touchdowns in seven games. But he’s just one year removed from his best pro season in which he totaled 82 receptions on 121 targets, 823 yards and five touchdowns, proving he can be a serviceable No. 2 option if needed.

At 29, Jones’ best football may be behind him, but he’s a solid option for a WR-needy team looking for a stabilizing veteran presence. If healthy, Jones should be good for 50-60 catches, 600-700 yards and a handful of touchdowns.

3. Hunter Renfrow

Renfrow has had a rough go of things after his breakout 103-catch, 1,038-yard, nine-touchdown season in 2021. Injuries limited him to just 10 games in 2022, and though he played in 17 games last year, he just didn’t fit in the Raiders’ new-look offense under head coach Antonio Pierce.

He averaged 92 targets and 766 yards per season during his first three years, so he’s capable of handling a high volume of passes thrown his way, and he knows how to gain yards. Renfrow is only 28, and he could be worth a team taking a one-year flier on in a prove-it kind of situation.

4. Michael Thomas

Thomas isn’t the player he was during his record-breaking 2019 season when he caught 149 passes for 1,725 yards and nine touchdowns, but if he’s motivated to prove the Saints were wrong to cut him, that could be a good thing for whoever signs him this offseason.

Before his season-ending knee injury against the Vikings in Week 10, Thomas was having a solid season. He logged 39 receptions and 448 yards on 64 targets and looked to be showing signs of being back to his old self. Thomas is only 31, and if healthy, he could be one heck of a No. 3 receiver for some teams.

5. Marquez Valdes-Scantling

With the emergence of Rashee Rice last season, Valdes-Scantling saw his role in the Kansas City offense reduced significantly. His targets (81 to 42) and receptions (42 to 21) were cut in half from the previous season, and it was clear he had run his course with the Chiefs.

However, he had proven during his four years in Green Bay, he proved that when given the chance, he can be a difference-maker. During that span, Valdes-Scantling averaged 61 targets, 30 receptions, and 538 yards per season while scoring 13 touchdowns, and his yards per reception hovered around 17.5. There are many teams that would take that kind of production out of their third receivers.

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