With the likely top three names on the depth chart being Funchess, Ginn, and Cotchery. There is no reason why Norwood couldn't land fourth on the depth chart, since his competition hasn't really stood out this preseason as anything above average. And over the course of the season he could be a productive option. Good route runner, good hands, and a good blocker. The kids talented and hopefully he makes the roster.
Anderson has been the ideal backup for Cam, and last season he stepped in and played well. And even Joe Webb fits as the third string quarterback. So other than acquiring RG3 as a free agent to nurture and keep as a trade asset, I can't see why we'd change a setup that is working well. For me, I think he could end up on a team like the Cowboys so they could get Romo's successor, or maybe the Broncos pick him up to be Peyton's successor.
How many times has Boykin been on the field at the same time as Cam? [I can't remember, I'd have to go back and rewatch the games!] If it's down to a personality fit, it would be interesting to know why he didn't fit in. The kids got the talent to be on the roster.
This is somewhat surprising. He's been one of our best performers this preseason, yet he's been kept behind, and now cut, instead of the likes of Corey Brown, Bersin, Mike Brown, and Bryd. I thought he deserved a shot with the 1s with how he's performed to see what he could do, but our coaching staff has other ideas and must prefer the other receivers on the roster. Hopefully they have made the right decision, but I could see Boykin heading to another team and doing ok.
For me I have three locks to make our roster: - Funchess, no explanation needed. - Ginn, he was brought back to help our return game and because he has good chemistry with Cam. - Cotchery, he's a well liked veteran with good hands, route running, and is generally a dependable and reliable possession receiver. After these three guys it becomes difficult to separate the rest. Bersin has been solid, but not spectacular. Corey has been frustratingly inconsistent with his drops. Boykin has shown flashes but not had much opportunity, if any, with the 1s. Byrd and Mike Brown have talent, but not really done enough [yet]. I suspect Bersin and Corey have the edge at this time because they are familiar to our offense, but one of them may not make it, because from what we've seen of Boykin, he should make the roster. But it wouldn't surprise me to see Corey and Bersin slot in at #4 and #5 on the depth chart, with the new guy Norwood being the #6 and final receiver on the depth chart. Since I don't see Gettleman trading for a receiver this late if he didn't see him making the roster because he sees something in him. My 6 receivers would be: Funchess, Ginn, Cotchery, Boykin, Norwood, Bersin/Brown. My prediction for them will be: Funchess, Ginn, Cotchery, Bersin, Brown, Norwood.
And which free agent WR should we sign that will make us better? Wes Welker? Spent most of last season out with concussions. Reggie Wayne? Signed with the Patriots. Randy Moss? Last played in 2012 and he's 38 years old. Santana Moss? Steady, but no better than Cotchery and he's older. Santonio Holmes? Missed 24 games over the past three seasons with injuries, and not been the same player since a major foot injury with the Jets. Brandon Lloyd? Can still make plays, but he's known for being a troublemaker in the locker room. Robert Meachem? Outside of New Orleans he's done nothing, but even that is nothing to shout about. So other than Randy Moss, and that's a big stretch because he's not played in three seasons and is 38 years old, I don't see a free agent option worth picking up. We are better going forwards with the core of receivers we have in house, than pursuing a bunch of over the hill veterans with little to nothing to offer.
I put Tolbert in the same bracket as Cotchery. An experienced veteran to keep around a generally young and inexperienced position grouping. At RB, aside from Stewart, the experience ranges from rookie to 2nd and 3rd string RBs with limited experienced. Keeping Tolbert around keeps a proven, experienced head to help the young players develop. Get rid and we'd be taking a risk on whether the young unproven players are ready to command a prominent role on the team. Im not against moving on from either player in order to keep our young talent around. But teams do like experienced heads, and that might keep Tolbert on the roster for another year. Might not. But we'll see when the cuts start.
Hopefully his performance against Miami will earn him some opportunities to play with the firsts. At the end of the day he's shown flashes this pre-season and during his stay in Green Bay that he could develop into a good receiver. He deserves a shot.
This is why I would prefer to see us not go after a regressing veteran like Reggie Wayne or Wes Welker. We shouldn't be looking for another stop gap option, when we have young talent on the roster that could feasibly create a long term role for themselves. I would much rather see this type of depth chart than one featuring another stopgap option that won't necessarily make us any better.
I think the difference with us is that there is a belief and desire to see our young players step up. There are high expectations for Funchess to establish himself as the main receiver this year. Corey and Bersin will want to take this chance to prove themselves as the future at the #3 and #4 positions on the depth chart, instead of stop gap veterans. Likewise, Mike Brown, Jarrett Boykin, and Damiere Byrd will want to prove they have something to offer, and from their work in pre-season, they are worth serious consideration. And that's without considering Cotchery and Ginn still have much to offer this season. That's eight players fighting for a place on the team, and while Reggie Wayne is a future Hall of Fame player, at this stage in his career he may not offer us much more than we already have on our roster. For me, we would be better riding with the young players and the veterans we already have, than signing a one year stop gap option in Reggie Wayne, because at least our young players could breakout and prove they have a long term future on this team, something which Reggie Wayne will never have due to his age. The difference with the Patriots is twofold. First, joining the Patriots lets him chase another ring. And second, outside of Julian Edelman and Brandon LaFell, who else have they got? Danny Amendola and Aaron Dobson are injury prone and inconsistent in the passing game. Brandon Gibson is a steady player, but not much more. And Brian Tyms, Jonathan Krause, Zach D'Orazio, and Josh Boyce have barely played and are low end depth chart players/practice squad players. Joining the Patriots would see Reggie Wayne slot in at #3 on their depth chart, with Amendola, Dobson and Gibson likely rounding off their depth chart. At least in NE he would slot in a mid-depth chart position with less pressure on his shoudlers, and he would also get to play with a future hall of fame quarterback that would make his life easier. Long story short, the Patriots are a perfect fit for a player like him at this stage in his career.
The issue with trading for a wide receiver is who is available that would be worth the price needed to be paid? We are unlikely to find a Brandon Marshall available. Someone who could be a real difference maker. The types of receivers that might be available would be players that may not be any better than what we have on the roster right now. Or we would be taking a risk on a player like a Patterson or Hunter hoping that they finally break out, or someone not living up to their contract like Michael Floyd, but even then it is debatable whether their team would like them go at a price that is not over the top.
This is very sad news. We are going to miss him this year, but hopefully he comes back strong from this. Funchess is going to need to step up and utilise his potential to be a stud wide receiver. Ginn and Cotchery, if they make the roster, should be good reliable targets for Cam. Ginn can stretch the field and Cotchery provides a solid possession receiver. Corey and Bersin will need to step up to provide us with two further options for Cam. This is their chance to make their name as the future #3 and #4 on the depth chart [working on the basis Benji is #1 and Funchess is #2]. And while the injury is sad news, it gives Mike Brown, Boykin and Byrd a chance to fight for a roster spot. I wouldn't be surprised if they looked at one of the big name veteran free agent wide receivers to fill a void (eg Reggie Wayne, Wes Welker etc), or even look to a receiver available via a trade if they aren't convinced we have enough weapons.