NFL Free Agency Wide Receivers: Alshon Jeffery, Travis Benjamin, Rishard Matthews, Percy Harvin, Jermaine Kearse, James Jones Top Targets?

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Feb 02, 2016 02:28 PM EST
Alshon Jeffery #17 of the Chicago Bears
Alshon Jeffery #17 of the Chicago Bears catches a pass as he's pursued by Captain Munnerlyn #24 of the Minnesota Vikings on November 16, 2014 at Soldier Field in Chicago, Illinois. The Chicago Bears defeated the Minnesota Vikings 21-13."

There are a number of solid receivers hitting the market in NFL free agency this year, including Alshon Jeffery, Travis Benjamin, Rishard Matthews, Jermaine Kearse, James Jones, Anquan Boldin, Marvin Jones, Rueben Randle and Percy Harvin.

Jeffery headlines the class of free agents at wide receiver, but he is likely going to stay put in Chicago. The team may let Jeffery hit the market and he should receive some interest, but at this point it looks like the Bears will make sure they keep him moving forward. Jeffery dealt with injury issues last season and that could impact his negotiations, but ESPN Bears reporter Jeff Dickerson writes that it's "likely" that Jeffery will return.

Jeffery played in just nine games last season, but he still was fairly productive with 54 catches for 807 yards and four touchdowns. Jeffery has shown that he can put up elite numbers, as he had 17 combined TDs over the previous two seasons while putting up back to back 85-catch, 1100-yard years. Brad Biggs at the Chicago Tribune writes that he would be "very surprised" if Jeffery did not return.

Travis Benjamin may earn himself a nice payday after the season he had, as the wideout put up career numbers despite the Browns having some issues at quarterback. Benjamin finished the season with 68 catches for 966 yards and five TDs to set career highs across the board and he also showcased his talents as an explosive kick returner. Benjamin is expected to return to the Browns, but teams likely will try and target the receiver in free agency.

Jermaine Kearse is also coming off of a career season, but he is not likely going to be signing back with the Seahawks. The emergence of Tyler Lockett likely will keep the Seahawks from pushing too hard at signing Kearse and the wideout has already said to Adam Schefter at ESPN that he is not planning to take a hometown discount to stay. Kearse put up 49 receptions for 685 yards and five TDs last season to set career highs and he also finished the season with a strong performance in the playoffs, catching 11 balls for 110 yards and two scores against the Panthers.

Rishard Matthews emerged as a solid number two option behind Jarvis Landry for the Dolphins, but he likely will not return this offseason to Miami. The team has DeVante Parker ready to step up and they also likely will keep Kenny Stills (but not Greg Jennings potentially) and that could mean Matthews is the odd man out. Matthews had 43 catches in 11 games last season before getting injured and he could be a nice fit as a third receiver for a number of teams around the league.

James Jones, Anquan Boldin, Marvin Jones, Rueben Randle and Percy Harvin are also hitting the market and should get some attention from teams. Jones has said that he is hoping to re-sign with the Packers, while Doug Whaley said that he is looking to bring back Harvin to the Bills next season.

Check here for more on NFL free agency.

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