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Free Agency Preview: WR

Posted Mar 2, 2013

NFL Insider Adam Caplan of Sirius NFL Radio helps us preview free agency by providing the top players available at each position. In addition, we look at each player's career to date and whether that player could end up finding a home with the Eagles. This is a look at the players who are scheduled to hit the market at the wide receiver position ...

1. Wes Welker, New England - Ht: 5-9, Wt: 185, Age: 31, Exp: 9

Career: Traded from Miami to New England in 2004 and has posted at least 1,100 receiving yards in five of his six seasons with the Patriots. Earned five consecutive Pro Bowl selections and also two first-team All-Pro nods. Played under the franchise tag in 2012. Could be final chance at free agency.

Fit: Welker is a dynamic slot receiver who is slippery thanks to his precise routes. He caught 118 passes in 2012 and 103 of them were from 10 yards of the line of scrimmage or shorter. Reports indicated optimism he would return to the Patriots after quarterback Tom Brady signed his team-friendly extension.

2. Dwayne Bowe, Kansas City -  Ht: 6-2, Wt: 221, Age: 28, Exp: 6

Career: Former first-round pick of the Chiefs in 2007, Bowe has 415 catches for 5,728 yards and 39 touchdowns in his career. Earned Pro Bowl honors after leading the NFL with 15 touchdown receptions in 2010 to go along with 72 catches for 1,162 yards. Followed that up with 81 receptions for 1,159 yards in 2011. Played under the franchise tag in 2012.

Fit: A big, physical receiver who has at times shown the ability to be a downfield threat. Has posted big numbers despite lackluster quarterback play. Bowe certainly would bring a combination of size and playmaking ability that the Eagles do not have on the roster now. Could get the franchise tag again, however, from Chiefs.

3. Greg Jennings, Green Bay - Ht: 5-11, Wt: 198, Age: 29, Exp: 7

Career: Two-time Pro Bowl selection who posted three straight seasons of 1,100 yards or more from 2008-11. Had a career-high 12 touchdowns in 2010. Groin injury impacted his 2012 season as he caught 36 receptions for 366 yards and scored four touchdowns.

Fit: Lots of reports about the type of money Jennings wants on the open market. The issue for him is that he's coming off of a down season where by the end he was no longer the Packers' go-to guy. Still, Jennings possesses great athleticism and has proven he can stretch the field. Can't see Eagles looking to pay top dollar for a receiver who will be 30 early in the upcoming season who has statistically dropped off now in two straight seasons.

4. Mike Wallace, Pittsburgh - Ht: 6-0, Wt: 199, Age: 26, Exp: 4

Career: After back-to-back 1,000-yard seasons in 2010 and 2011, Wallace decided to hold off on a long-term extension and play out the final year of his rookie deal. Wallace had a good 2012 with 64 receptions for 836 yards and eight touchdowns, but not the spectacular numbers he was hoping for. Earned Pro Bowl honors after 2011 when he had 72 catches for 1,193 yards and eight touchdowns, but had career-best 1,257 yards and 10 touchdowns in 2010.

Fit: Fair to question whether contract situation bothered Wallace in 2012 even thought he still posted very respectable numbers. At 26 years old, Wallace is the type of player you want to target in free agency. Has good combination of size and speed. Averaged 21 yards per catch in 2010. Is looking to be paid along with the top wide receivers. Have to also wonder why would Steelers simply let him walk?

5. Victor Cruz, New York Giants - Ht: 6-0, Wt: 204, Age: 26, Exp: 3

Career: Burst out onto the scene in his second season much to the dismay of Eagles fans with 82 catches for 1,536 yards and nine touchdowns. He followed that up with 86 catches for 1,092 yards and 10 touchdowns last season as he earned Pro Bowl honors.

Fit: Explosive slot receiver who still produced despite Hakeem Nicks' injuries in 2012. Has good size and has proven to be effective in traffic. Is a restricted free agent who is likely to be given the first-round tender by the Giants who want to lock up both Cruz and Nicks to long-ter6m deals.

6. Danny Amendola, St. Louis - Ht: 5-11, Wt: 188, Age: 27, Exp: 4

Career: Former Eagle who was a difficult roster cut, but landed in St. Louis where he was given the chance to shine and has done so. Had 85 catches for 689 yards and three touchdowns in 2010. Injuries have limited him the past two seasons, but he battled and still led St. Louis with 63 catches for 666 yards and three touchdowns in 2012. Was also leading kickoff return specialist first two seasons.

Fit: The Rams hope to re-sign Amendola, but his injury history is a major factor. Has missed 20 games over the past two seasons. A more quick than fast receiver who is willing to go to battle on the inside as a slot receiver.

7. Brian Hartline, Miami - Ht: 6-2, Wt: 199, Age: 26, Exp: 4

Career: Picked the best time to hit the market as he posted career highs in catches with 74 and receiving yards with 1,083 in 2012 as he emerged as rookie quarterback Ryan Tannehill's go-to receiver. In his four seasons, Hartline has 183 catches for 2,753 yards and six touchdowns.

Fit: Not a "No. 1 receiver," but has good size, strength and blocking ability as an outside receiver. Good route runner. Consistent, but not flashy. Doesn't have the elite athleticism that would take his game to another level.

8. Danario Alexander, San Diego - Ht: 6-5, Wt: 217, Age: 24, Exp: 3

Career: Had a breakout second half of the 2012 season as he finished the season with 37 catches for 658 yards and seven touchdowns. Limited production in first two seasons due to history of knee problems. Has 83 receptions for 1,395 yards and 10 touchdowns in 28 career games.

Fit: Is a restricted free agent. Super-talented with amazing size, but hard to commit big money to because of knee injury history. Turned into Chargers' go-to receiver down the stretch last season and was able to make impact plays even with limited targets. Has the ability to win jump balls. Production increased in each season.

9. Emmanuel Sanders, Pittsburgh - Ht: 5-11, Wt: 180, Age: 25, Exp: 3

Career: Saw an expanded role in 2012 due to injuries as he caught a career-high 44 receptions for 626 yards while starting in seven of the team's 16 games. Has 94 receptions for 1,290 yards and five touchdowns in his career.

Fit: Is a restricted free agent who is expected to take over as the starter opposite Antonio Brown with Wallace likely to leave in free agency. Was the team's slot receiver. Has good athleticism and downfield playmaking ability.

10. Devery Henderson, New Orleans - Ht: 5-11, Wt: 200, Age: Exp: 9

Career: A deep threat who averaged over 20 yards per catch for three straight seasons from 2006-08. Has never had more than 804 receiving yards in a season. Is coming off worst season since 2004 rookie campaign with 22 receptions for 316 yards and a touchdown.

Fit: Turns 31 later this month. Speed has always been his calling card, but never turned into a complete and consistent all-around receiver.

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