If his Facebook page can be believed, former Colts wide receiver Pierre Garcon has landed in Washington.
He will reportedly sign a five-year contract worth in excess of $40-million with over half of that amount guaranteed.
With the team’s trade with St. Louis to acquire the 2nd overall pick in the draft (and the likely selection of Robert Griffin III) and reports indicating the team is also on the verge of signing former 49er Josh Morgan, the Redskins figure to start the season with new starters at quarterback and both wide receiver positions as head coach Mike Shanahan continues to overhaul the team’s offense.
Playing alongside Reggie Wayne, Garcon posted career highs in receptions with 70 and yards with 947 while scoring six touchdowns.
In Garcon, the Redskins add a player with tantalizing talent to their roster but one who has frustrated his coaches and quarterbacks with his frequent drops and questionable route running. The former Division III player from Mount Union possesses outstanding speed and solid size at 6’0” and 210 pounds but has been plagued by inconsistencies.
Morgan missed all but five games last season after suffering a broken leg, finishing the year with 15 receptions for 220 yards and one touchdown. The 2008 6th round pick burst onto the scene with an impressive training camp performance as a rookie but largely failed to assert himself as consistent receiving option during his four years in San Francisco.
While the 49ers were clearly interested in having him return, they were not willing to offer him the type of contract he received from Washington, which reportedly includes $12-million in salary over its first two years.
The biggest winner with these signings has to be Griffin. Garcon and Morgan offer far more potential than a diminutive, 33-year old Moss and Jabar Gaffney. Throw in tight end Fred Davis, entering his 5th year and coming off a career season, and the Redskins now boast plenty of young talent in their receiving corps.
While Garcon looks the part of a number one wide receiver, he has done little to justify the belief that he can fulfill that role. Washington is banking on Garcon fulfilling on his immense potential.
However, despite being on the receiving end of passes from perhaps the most accurate quarterback in the history of the league, Garcon caught just 55.1% of his passes during his first three years in the NFL.
On the plus side, he had a career year in 2011 catching passes from the likes of Kerry Collins, Curtis Painter and Dan Orlovsky. That provides some comfort and indicates that even with Griffin under center, Garcon’s downside, barring injury, figures to be his 2011 production where he finished as the 22nd ranked fantasy wide receiver, although that ranking was burnished by a number of injuries and poor performances to receivers across the league. Garcon should be considered a mid-tier WR3 entering 2012 but one with upside.
As for Morgan, he is a solid fit as the second option in a West Coast passing offense given his size and willingness to go over the middle. While he has a respectable career average yards per catch of 13.5, he doesn’t possess great deep speed. He is clearly a fantasy backup in all leagues but a player with more value in PPR leagues. A breakout 2012 campaign is very unlikely.
Moss is clearly the biggest loser with these moves as he will need to find a new team next season. Coming off his worst season since his second year in the league in 2002, it seems unlikely that any team will consider him a starting option in 2012.
Another fantasy loser is Andrew Luck, the Colts expected 2012 starter, who is now without the team’s top deep threat from 2011.