Christian Kirk is set to hit the open market when free agency kicks off next week. The 25-year-old wide receiver is coming off a career year with the Arizona Cardinals. He reeled in 77 receptions for 982 yards and five touchdowns. Factor in the Cardinals being a little over $2.5 million above the salary cap, and it feels like Kirk may have played his last snap in the desert.
As a productive and reliable receiver, Kirk should have a decent market. Where does he fit best offensively? As a movement and slot receiver. More than 730 of his snaps came from a slot alignment. What teams would be good fits for Kirk’s services?
here there is a need, try to supply it. One of the biggest complaints in Jacksonville is the lack of weapons for Trevor Lawrence. Fixing this must be a priority during the offseason.
During his stint with Clemson, Lawrence was equipped with big-bodied, high-rising receivers. Also, he had a shifty and elusive slot receiver in Amari Rodgers. Rodgers became a security blanket during their final season in college. Inserting Kirk into the slot offers similar skills and abilities to Lawrence’s former Mr. Reliable. Kirk will add a vertical threat in the slot for Lawrence to find faith in.
In a little bit of a trend with teams starting a quarterback from last year’s draft class, a concern for the Bears is surrounding Justin Fields with more talent. Veteran receiver Allen Robinson will be hitting the open market after a tumultuous 2021 campaign. Darnell Mooney stepped in as the unquestioned WR1 last season.
Kirk’s ability to work the short to intermediate regions of the field complements the deep speed of Mooney. Fields has the dual-threat ability to create second-reaction opportunities on scramble drills, similar to Kyler Murray.
However, do not pigeonhole Kirk as a “slot-only” receiver. He can assume the movement Z receiver role also.
Available money is not an issue for the Indianapolis Colts. The questions surrounding the quarterback are a different story entirely. Nonetheless, this offense has a middling, to say the least, receiving corps.
Michael Pittman Jr. is the prototypical X receiver that aligns on the outside of the formation primarily. If they wanted to fill the Z position or upgrade the talent in the slot, Kirk is a good option. Adding his abilities to this offense would fill a need and leave the deep threat role to fill.
Kirk and Pittman could form a formidable duo for defenses to prepare for. Both receivers are willing to align inside and out. Addressing this need frees up options during the 2022 NFL Draft. Even if Carson Wentz remains the quarterback, the offense still needs an injection of talent.
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