Red flags. That's the best way to describe two free agent wide receivers being discussed at finer water coolers today. First, there was the news that the St. Louis Rams could be one of the teams interested in soon-to-be ex-con Plaxico Burress. Now, the concerned whispers about another free agent of interest, Mike Sims-Walker, are set to reach a fever pitch with more detailed revelations today about his time in Jacksonville and the Jaguars' decision to let him walk.
Howard Balzer from ESPN 101 in St. Louis quotes Jags source on MSW issues:
He can't beat press coverage off the line of scrimmage and he also whines if they don't throw to him even if they win. He doesn't want to take the blame when he doesn't make a catch and he has a bad knee.
In the comments section of post discussing MSW, the name Brandon Gibson surfaced, just as it did in the discussion of James Jones. Both Jones and Sims-Walker play a similar style of football to Gibson, who is entering his third season in the league.
Third season. I don't know about the empirical evidence, but it's long been a contention of the chattering classes that receivers hit their stride in year three. Gibson improved last year over his rookie season, catching 58 percent of his total targets versus 49 percent the year before. Can he develop more consistency and become a reliable possession receiver for the Rams? At this point, it's probably less of a risk to see what Gibson can do in year three versus handing over a bing contract to players like MSW or Jones who have talent but don't bring any more guarantees.