Cedrick Wilson Landing Spots: Buccaneers, Colts, and Bears could all address WR needs this offseason

Where are the potential landing spots for Cedrick Wilson after his breakout year for the Dallas Cowboys in the 2021-2022 NFL season?

After a slow start to his career, Dallas Cowboys WR Cedrick Wilson has put himself in the shop window heading into free agency in 2022. Let’s examine Wilson’s breakout season and where his potential landing spots could be this offseason.

Cedrick Wilson landing spots

Wilson has been one of two unexpected stars among the Cowboys’ potential free agents in 2022. TE Dalton Schultz has put himself in the frame for a big contract this offseason with his performances. Wilson is perhaps not in line for a large deal based on his 2021-2022 production, but he will almost certainly cost the Cowboys a little more if they want to keep him around.

Heading into this season, Wilson had just 235 receiving yards and 2 touchdowns on 22 receptions from 36 targets. However, this year alone, Wilson had 602 receiving yards and 6 touchdowns on 45 receptions from 61 targets. The most impressive element for Wilson is that he has caught 73.8% of his targets. When we compare that mark to two players with a similar average depth of target (9.5), Wilson is above both Adam Thielen and Davante Adams.

Now, while Wilson is not in the same realm as Adams and Thielen because of the differences in the coverage he draws, there is a lot to be intrigued about with him. Only five receivers have a higher passer rating when targeted this season than Wilson (130.6). He also finished the season with the ninth-highest grade at the position according to Pro Football Network’s Offensive Value Metric.

All of that should mean Wilson has some intriguing value this offseason. There is no reason he could not be in the same conversation in terms of value as the likes of Emmanuel Sanders. Last season, Sanders signed for the Bills on a one-year, $6 million contract, and Wilson could certainly get that type of value if teams look closely at his 2021 season. It will be intriguing to see whether any clubs are willing to look at him long-term and whether they offer enough for Wilson to commit to in 2022.

Wilson could be an intriguing fit as the Indianapolis Colts’ WR2

The Colts need to work out what they are doing for a second WR in 2022. T.Y. Hilton could come back, but his injury risk will mean Indianapolis cannot put all their eggs in that basket. Zach Pascal impressed at times but is set to be a free agent himself, and Parris Campbell has been frustrating for the Colts since they drafted him — playing just 15 games in three years.

Therefore, Wilson could be a fantastic foil to Michael Pittman Jr., who has emerged as the WR1. The Colts don’t need a star opposite Pittman. They just need a reliable pass catcher who can keep defenses honest. Wilson can certainly do that, and in combination with Pittman and Jonathan Taylor, he should be able to provide whoever is Indianapolis’ QB next season with some strong options.

The Houston Texans need to add some more pass-catching talent

The situation for the Texans in terms of their pass catchers is interesting. They have the top-end talent in Brandin Cooks and some promising options in Nico Collins and Brevin Jordan. However, they need a consistent secondary option to partner with Cooks. This season, that was Danny Amendola, but he is not the ideal option to fill that role.

Adding Wilson would give the Texans a dual situation. He would be that solid second option to help whoever is Houston’s QB next season. However, there is also enough promise in his game where he could develop into a long-term replacement for Cooks if he moves on. That would be a best-case scenario, but it is not out of the question. So this should certainly be a move the Texans explore this offseason.

The Tampa Bay Buccaneers could bring Wilson in to bolster a depleted receiving group

So much around how the Buccaneers approach this offseason will depend on the future of Chris Godwin. The expectation is that Godwin will at least test free agency, so the Buccaneers need to make plans for if he departs.

Wilson would fit into that secondary role behind Mike Evans nicely, and would not come with a huge expense. Assuming Tom Brady remains, there would also be the dangling carrot of a potential Super Bowl ring, which might help reduce the asking price a little.

The Chicago Bears are another team that needs to add pass-catching talent

In Darnell Mooney, the Bears appear set for the short-term when it comes to their leading receiver. Yet, they do not have anyone currently under contract who is a clear WR2. Therefore, they need to go looking for that role this offseason. Leaving Justin Fields throwing to Mooney and a group of essentially replacement level receivers would not be ideal.

Wilson would be a slight upgrade on that replacement level group. However, he would likely not come with a prohibitive cost. That is a positive for a Bears team that really needs to consider upgrades on both offense and defense. Three areas that stand out as needing investment are the offensive line, cornerback, and defensive line. That would not leave a huge amount of cap space to invest in their receiving group, so a player like Wilson would fit nicely.

Could the Cowboys keep Wilson this offseason?

It seems unlikely that Wilson will be high on the Cowboys’ priority list this offseason. They already have Amari Cooper under contract long-term and CeeDee Lamb is still on his rookie contract. Thrown into all of that is that Dallas is currently projected to be $13 million over the salary cap in 2022. All of that very much makes Wilson a luxury item for the Cowboys this offseason.

The most realistic way that Wilson remains is if the Cowboys decide to move on from Cooper. Doing so would save $16 million in cap space, which they could invest elsewhere. Then, keeping Wilson might be a semi-priority in order to ensure consistency within the offense in 2022.

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