At the top of Rothstein’s list is Bears WR Alshon Jeffery, who is by far the best free agent receiver in position to test the market in the coming months. Of course, there’s no guarantee he’s available as the Bears could either use their franchise tag on him or try to get a long-term contract in place before March.
With Jeffery likely to be back in Chicago next year, Rothstein mentions that Bengals WR Marvin Jones could be the Lions “top target” in free agency. The Bengals have a legitimate No. 1 receiver in A.J. Green, who signed a massive contract extension last year, so they may allow Jones to depart or at least test the open market to see what kind of offers he receives.
Some draft options, according to Rothstein, could include Ole Miss WR Laquon Treadwell and Notre Dame WR Will Fuller.
Of the options listed, Jones is likely the most realistic free agent possibility. However, the Lions would most likely be better off looking for a receiver in the draft, as it wouldn’t come with as high of a salary, and there’s a chance they could end up with someone who could develop into a No. 1 option down the road.
Jeffery, 25, played out the the final year of his four-year, $4.54 million rookie contract that included a $1.74 million signing bonus.
His 2015 season ended with him appearing in nine games and recording 54 receptions for 807 yards receiving and four touchdowns. Pro Football Focus has him rated as the No. 10 receiver out of 119 qualifying players.
Jones, 25, is a former fifth-round pick of the Bengals back in 2012. He played out his rookie contract and is now in line to be an unrestricted free agent in the coming months.
In 2015, Jones appeared in all 16 games and recorded 65 receptions for 816 yards receiving and four touchdowns. Pro Football Focus has him rated as the No. 50 receiver out of 119 qualifying players.
We have both players included in our Top 50 – 2016 Free Agents list.