The Pittsburgh Steelers awarded WR Antonio Brown a huge deal that will pay him $18.5 million for each of the first three seasons, then $12.5 million in the fourth.
The price for pass-catchers has gone up, which is great timing for Miami Dolphins free agent Kenny Stills, among others.
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Though some metrics put Stills in the second tier of wideouts, word is he will seek $12 million per season. A former fifth-round pick who was underpaid last season at $1.67 million, the man who had nine touchdowns and 726 yards is eager for a salary upgrade.
The sports wagering website BookMaker.eu makes Miami a decisive favorite to retain Stills. It has posted odds for three other clubs and bunches the other 28 in the "Field":
- Miami Dolphins -130
- Philadelphia Eagles +400
- Washington Redskins +850
- Los Angeles Rams +2000
- Field +200
Now for a close-up look at the four squads at the front of the line to secure Stills.
Miami Dolphins (bet $130 to win $100): Stills' asking price might be too rich for Miami's blood. They face an assortment of needs and could prefer to spread out their money more evenly.
The Miami Herald is reporting that the specter of uneasy negotiations could be a turn-off for the Dolphins.
On the bright side, the Fins are projected to have plenty of cap space.
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Philadelphia Eagles (bet $100 to win $400): Yes, Philly could use Stills. The same applies to a dozen other free agent WRs.
Indications are that the Bears will not apply the franchise tag to Alshon Jeffery. The Eagles likely would target him more enthusiastically than Stills and other lesser-lights.
Another hurdle is limited cap space. The Eagles could backload a contract for Stills -- or Jeffery or anyone else, for that matter -- but he must be willing to accept a comparatively modest amount this season.
Washington Redskins (bet +100 to win +850): With WRs Pierre Garcon and DeSean Jackson entering free agency, this is a logical landing spot.
Los Angeles Rams (bet $100 to win $2,000): The need for a WR is unquestioned, given the huge drop-off from Kenny Britt, who is also a free agent.
The prospects of two Kennys chasing down throws from Jared Goff are not far-fetched. Los Angeles is set on defense, QB, and RB, so it is conceivable that WR tops the wish list. Stills also has dropped hints that he would welcome a return to California, where he played high school ball.
My pick: None of the above. Wide receivers will flood the free agent market, making it difficult to pin down which player will go where. With the Field, you get 87.5 percent of the teams at odds of 2/1 (bet $100 to win $200). Sign me up.