Earlier this week, I made an attempt to warn Bills fans about the vastly overrated and soon-to-be overpaid Vincent Jackson, who will undoubtedly have his profile inflated by his status as an unrestricted free agent. And although I believe in Marques Colston’s ability to make big plays in big situations — which, also in my humble opinion, is one of the most important assets a receiver can bring to the table — there are some obvious doubts about what he’ll bring to a new table in 2012.
Colston is also slated to become an unrestricted free agent, and New Orleans doesn’t appear to have the cap flexibility to sign him long term. Since Drew Brees has hogged the franchise tag, the 28-year-old Colston is likely to leave the Bayou in free agency.
In his latest mailbag, Dan Pompei of the Chicago Tribune explains why teams might be leery of spending big bucks on a guy like Colston:
Some personnel men wonder if Colston would be as productive in another environment, however. He undoubtedly has benefited from playing in a domed stadium, in a spectacular offensive system, and with Brees. What’s more, Colston has been in the same system his whole career. It is not unreasonable to suspect he would not be as productive in, say Chicago, as he was in New Orleans.
Colston’s numbers are inflated by the aforementioned factors, and as Rotoworld points out, he’s rarely faced double coverage and has rarely been able to create consistent separation from defensive backs.
Is Colston worth the $8 million per year he’ll probably fetch on the open market? Of course not, but someone will pay it. They always do with perceived top-end receivers. Why? Probably because the poor saps either get caught up in the numbers or fall victim to pressure from fans who, in large part, value fantasy football success stories over those who excel at non-skill positions.