Three FA Wide Receivers Who Can Replace LaQuon Treadwell at WR3

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As the dust settled on last night and the news of Odell Beckham Jr being traded to Cleveland sunk in, this easily goes down as the absolute craziest few free agency days I can remember. Ever. In sports. Big names going this way, big names going that way and plenty of mid-level signings along the way. Cole Beasley and John Brown agreed to join the Bills, and hot off the presses Tyrel Williams will be joining Antonio Brown in Oakland to play for the Raiders.

Now what do the Vikings do at WR3?

The Laquon Treadwell experience has been one that most of us want a refund for, and I’m sure the team would love that 1st round pick back as well. The reality is, this is it. Year 4. What are we going to see during Laquon’s last stand? Is this the year he sees the field more? Unfortunately, these are questions we’ve asked every year since he was drafted..

Or… do we see the same guy who drops passes and underperfoms his expectations? Someone who will eventually leave town when his rookie deal is up…

In his first three seasons Treadwell has just 56 receptions for 517 yards and 1 TD. Obviously out of a first round pick anyone would expect more production but if he can’t give it to us, we’ll have to look elsewhere.

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With the league year officially starting this afternoon, here’s a list of potential targets for the Vikings to fill that WR3 spot:

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Aldrick Robinson

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In what was a down year for the offense, Robinson was probably one of biggest surprises and biggest bright spots of the season. He had just 17 receptions for the Vikings but 5 of those went from TDs of 13, 16, 17, 34 and 40 yards. Robinson more than showed he is capable of being that consistent deep threat while also being a reliable redzone option. What more could the Vikings want to fill that WR3 position? With Robinson’s speed, it allows Thielen to move inside to the slot full-time, which creates even more mismatch nightmares for opposing defenses. Robinson is definitely a name to keep an eye on as Free Agency gets underway.

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Pierre Garçon

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Garçon is a very intriguing option, even given his age (32). Garçon and Cousins played together in Washington in ‘15 and ‘16. In those two seasons together Garçon racked up 1,818 yards (included a 1,000 yard season in 2016) which was just the 2nd such season in his career. With those 1,818 yards came 9 TDs.

The chemistry is obviously there. The familiarity is there. Even at 32 years of age, Garçon can play outside, and still stretch a defense. Again, this move for a viable WR3 is most importantly a guy who can play outside and be enough of a threat to let Thielen feast inside. Chemistry and familiarity go a long way in this league. I’d expect some connection to the Vikings here, at the least.

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Mike Wallace

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Now… Bear with me on this one. Mike Wallace’s first stint in Minnesota didn’t go as planned, but that was with Teddy Bridgewater, who we know struggled some to make the deep throws. Wallace was open a lot when he was here and his speed didn’t go anywhere.

When Wallace got to Baltimore, with big-armed Joe Flacco, we saw a lot more of that speed that got him the big contract in Miami. That came after being a burner in Pittsburgh with, you guessed it, another big-armed QB in Ben Roethlisberger.

A year after leaving Minnesota, and teaming up with Flacco in Baltimore, Wallace had 1,017 yards receiving and 4TDs. The speed was back on display. In fact, it was the 3rd 1,000 yard season of his career, the other two coming with Ben Roethlisberger. Even on a 1-year deal, there could be some value there for the Vikings with a potential burner that Kirk Cousins could drive the ball downfield to.

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Aldrick Robinson showed plenty of reasons why he’d be the best option to get re-signed. I like the chemistry idea of Cousins and Garçon being reunited, and think they could rekindle some of that magic from Washington. Mike Wallace coming back though, has me thinking about that speed paired with Cousins’ arm strength… We might just be on to something.

But, at the end of the day, I think the Vikings lean on the side of familiarity and we see Pierre Garçon in purple.

Brian Heintz | Minnesota Sports Fan

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