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Washington Redskins: Five Free Agent Wide Receiver Targets

Yahoo Contributor Network
COMMENTARY | One of the Washington Redskins' biggest offseason priorities will be upgrading their talent at the number two wide receiver spot.

Opposite of Pierre Garcon in the starting lineup, the Redskins are in dire need of a legitimate number two wide out capable of providing quarterback Robert Griffin III with the luxury of tossing the pigskin to another dangerous playmaker.

As free agency rapidly approaches, here are five free agent receivers the Redskins would be wise to consider in their bid to attain the services of another consistent pass-catching threat at the position.

Julian Edelman - New England Patriots

After years of serviceable play, Edelman took his game to another level in 2013. Emerging as Tom Brady's top receiver, Edelman hauled in an impressive 105 catches for 1,056 yards during his breakout performance last season.

In addition to possessing superb receiving skills, Edelman has also established himself as one of the game's best punt returners. Averaging 12.3 yards per attempt while accumulating three touchdowns on 107 career punt returns, Edelman's ability to contribute on special teams should be especially appealing to the Redskins, who struggled mightily in that area last year.

Signing Edelman won't be cheap but considering the Redskins' hefty amount of available cap space this offseason, they're armed with the financial resources to bring the dual threat to Washington D.C.

Golden Tate - Seattle Seahawks

Similar to Edelman, Tate also has the ability to contribute at wide receiver as well as special teams. In 2013, Tate caught 64 passes for 898 yards while also averaging a solid 11.5 yards on 51 punt returns.

Although Tate has expressed his desire to give the Seahawks a hometown discount once free agency starts, a recent report suggests that last year's Super Bowl champs may be willing to let Tate continue his career with another NFL franchise.

If that's the case, the Redskins should be at the front of the line vying for Tate's services when the free agency market opens up.

Emmanuel Sanders - Pittsburgh Steelers

If the Redskins miss out on Edelman and Tate, then pursuing Sanders should become the team's top free agent priority at the wide receiver position.

Sanders is an adequate number two wide out with the upside to become an even better receiving threat in the years to come. If the Steelers are willing to allow Sanders to leave via free agency, then the Redskins should strongly consider pursuing the talented wide receiver.

Jerome Simpson - Minnesota Vikings

Simpson's ability to stretch the field and his familiarity with new head coach Jay Gruden could make him a realistic target for the Redskins during free agency. In 2011 with the Cincinnati Bengals, Simpson snagged a career-high 50 receptions for 725 yards during his lone campaign in Gruden's system.

Despite his talents on the field, there is some off-the-field baggage associated with Simpson that could serve as a means of scaring away some NFL franchises looking for help at receiver.

If he's able to behave, Simpson could emerge as a free agency steal for a Redskins' team that could use the presence of another playmaking wide out.

James Jones - Green Bay Packers

Jones provided the Redskins with a first-hand glimpse of what he's capable of during his 11-catch, 178-yard performance in the Packers' 38-20 win over the team in 2013.

Due to the emergence of fellow receiver Jarrett Boykin, the Packers could allow Jones to leave via free agency. If Jones is available, the Redskins shouldn't hesitate to look in his direction if they strike out on the other previously mentioned wide outs.

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Drexel Perry is a Washington Redskins and Washington Wizards Yahoo Sports contributor. Follow him on Twitter @DrexelPerry.

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