Best available free agent WRs as Cowboys, Rams, and Broncos deal with injuries

Odell Beckham Jr. and Will Fuller are among the free agent WRs who could appeal to the Cowboys, Rams, and Broncos as they deal with injury issues.

Injuries are an unfortunate byproduct of training camp, and the Dallas Cowboys, Los Angeles Rams, and Denver Broncos are all dealing with health concerns at wide receiver. Luckily, the free agent WR market is decently robust — at least, for early August. Which pass catchers are still available, and could the Cowboys, Rams, or Broncos pursue them?

Free agent wide receivers for the Cowboys, Rams, and Broncos

The Cowboys will be without James Washington for 6-10 weeks after he suffered a Jones fracture at Monday’s practice, and Dallas could ill afford to lose any more wide receiving depth. Jerry Jones and Co. already traded Amari Cooper to the Browns over the offseason, and fellow wideout Michael Gallup won’t be ready for Week 1 after tearing his ACL at the end of the 2021 campaign. At present, third-round rookie Jalen Tolbert looks poised to start opposite CeeDee Lamb.

The situation isn’t nearly as dire in Los Angeles, but the Rams still have concerns. Head coach Sean McVay announced Monday that Van Jefferson will require knee surgery and is uncertain to be available for Week 1. LA still has two alphas in Cooper Kupp and Allen Robinson, but Ben Skowronek and Tutu Atwell could be asked to take on larger roles.

Meanwhile, Broncos WR Tim Patrick suffered a torn ACL after coming down with a leaping grab in practice today, according to Mike Klis of 9News. In Courtland Sutton, Jerry Jeudy, and KJ Hamler, Denver has the most WR depth of these three teams. Yet, they may still be interested in adding another piece with Patrick sidelined.

Which free agents could appeal to the Cowboys, Rams, and Cowboys?

Odell Beckham Jr.

The Rams have been continually linked with an Odell Beckham Jr. reunion, and McVay specifically mentioned OBJ when discussing how LA will move forward without Jefferson for the time being. Beckham isn’t expected to be available until at least November after tearing his ACL last season, though, so Jefferson will likely beat him back to the field.

Los Angeles has never been shy about making midseason acquisitions, and Beckham has familiarity with the club after posting a 27-305-5 line in eight regular-season games with the Rams last year. At this point, it would be surprising if OBJ ends up with any team besides LA, although he might not land a contract until his health status clears up.

Will Fuller

Will Fuller lives! After months of radio silence on the 28-year-old receiver, PFN’s Aaron Wilson reported Monday that Fuller is “being monitored by multiple NFL teams” but is likely to wait until later in the preseason to join a new team.

Fuller’s injury issues are obvious. He’s never completed a full season, and he’s only played in 31 of a possible 65 games since 2018.

But his upside is also tantalizing. Fuller was on pace for a career season as recently as 2020 (53-879-8 through 11 games) before getting popped for a PED suspension. Fuller’s more than just a deep threat, but it’s his speed that will get him another job.

T.Y. Hilton

Colts general manager Chris Ballard said last week that Indy is still “in the mix” to re-sign T.Y. Hilton, who has spent his entire decade-long career in blue and white. However, as of May, Hilton had reportedly had conversations with at least two other teams, so there is interest from around the NFL.

A neck injury limited Hilton to just 10 games a season ago, and he posted the worst statistical performance of his career. At 32 years old, Hilton’s no longer a game-changer, but he can still be a team’s WR3, or even better, WR4.

Cole Beasley

Cole Beasley was incredibly productive for Buffalo over the past three seasons, but he’s looking for a new home after being released in March. He’s a slot-only receiver, which could theoretically limit his appeal, but Beasley should be able to find a role — at least, based purely on his on-field performance.

Beasley is proudly unvaccinated against COVID-19, which could raise concerns about his consistent availability. After spending the first six years of his career in Dallas, Beasley should make sense as an option for the Cowboys. However, it’s worth noting that Jerry Jones seemed to be irritated by the unvaxxed Amari Cooper’s absence in 2021. Thus, Dallas might not go down this road.

Emmanuel Sanders

Emmanuel Sanders said in February that he was considering retirement, and given that there’s been no subsequent news on the veteran wideout, he may very well hang up his cleats. But even though he’s 35 years old, Beasley’s former teammate is still capable of delivering results.

Sanders has put up at least 550 yards receiving in every season since 2012. At stops in Pittsburgh, Denver, San Francisco, New Orleans, and Buffalo, he’s proven capable of quickly assimilating into a new offense. Veteran experience can be overrated, but Sanders could join a team in the preseason and be up to speed by Week 1.

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