We all get excited by the shiny new toys: incoming rookies, potential second-year breakouts. But I see one potential standout veteran, especially with uncertainty about the future of the veteran just ahead of him. And that's Buffalo free-agent addition Emmanuel Sanders.

Buffalo had one of the league's best passing games a year ago and should again this year. Stefon Diggs, Cole Beasley and John Brown were the three main wideouts in 2020 (with rookie Gabriel Davis actually finishing with slightly better numbers than an oft-injured Brown), but Brown is gone, and Beasley's future with the team looks shaky. He's been outspoken about not getting vaccinated for COVID-19, threatening to retire first. A Buffalo News reporter thinks he could be released.

Suddenly the question over whether Sanders will be better than Davis as the No. 3 might be secondary to which one will be the No. 2. Sanders rather quietly doesn't seem to have lost very much, even at 34 years old.

He's played for three different franchises the last two seasons, but at a pretty high level for each. Last year with New Orleans, he caught close 75 percent of the passes thrown his way. Among wideouts to see at least 80 targets, he now has three of the top 50 seasons in terms of catch rate over the last 20 years. The routes he runs and working with Drew Brees last year doesn't hurt, but another of his qualifying seasons was with Case Keenum, and in Josh Allen he'll work with a quarterback and an offense that a year ago had two of the top wideouts on this list: Diggs, and Beasley.

2018Michael Thomas, N.O.147125140511.2985.0%
2019Michael Thomas, N.O.185149172511.6980.5%
2020Curtis Samuel, Car.977785111.1379.4%
2020Chris Godwin, T.B.846584012.9777.4%
2007Wes Welker, N.E.145112117510.5877.2%
2020Davante Adams, G.B.149115137412.01877.2%
2012Randall Cobb, G.B.1048095411.9876.9%
2017Golden Tate, Det.12092100310.9576.7%
2020Cole Beasley, Buff.1078296711.8476.6%
2016Cole Beasley, Dall.987583311.1576.5%
2020Stefon Diggs, Buff.166127153512.1876.5%
2016Michael Thomas, N.O.12192113712.4976.0%
2009Wes Welker, N.E.162123134811.0475.9%
2014Kenny Stills, N.O.836393114.8375.9%
2020JuJu Smith-Schuster, Pitt.128978318.6975.8%
2020Tyler Lockett, Sea.132100105410.51075.8%
2015Doug Baldwin, Sea.10378106913.71475.7%
2015Keenan Allen, S.D.896772510.8475.3%
2016Doug Baldwin, Sea.12594112812.0775.2%
2015Larry Fitzgerald, Ariz.145109121511.2975.2%
2016Stefon Diggs, Min.1128490310.8375.0%
2014Jarvis Landry, Mia.112847589.0575.0%
2016Adam Thielen, Min.926996714.0575.0%
2011Marques Colston, N.O.10780114314.3874.8%
2018Cole Beasley, Dall.876567210.3374.7%
2015Danny Amendola, N.E.876564810.0374.7%
2019Tyler Lockett, Sea.11082105712.9874.5%
2008Wes Welker, N.E.149111116510.5374.5%
2020Emmanuel Sanders, N.O.826172611.9574.4%
2020Cooper Kupp, LAR1249297410.6374.2%
2004Hines Ward, Pitt.10880100412.6474.1%
2018Adam Thielen, Min.153113137312.2973.9%
2017Adam Humphries, T.B.836163110.3173.5%
2016Tyreek Hill, K.C.83615939.7673.5%
2020Sterling Shepard, NYG90666569.9373.3%
2012Percy Harvin, Min.856267710.9372.9%
2020Jakobi Meyers, N.E.815972912.4072.8%
2016Mohamed Sanu, Atl.815965311.1472.8%
2018Emmanuel Sanders, Den.987186812.2472.4%
2018Adam Humphries, T.B.1057681610.7572.4%
2007Ike Hilliard, T.B.866272211.7172.1%
2018Taylor Gabriel, Chi.936768810.3272.0%
2011Percy Harvin, Min.1218796711.1671.9%
2020DeAndre Hopkins, Ariz.160115140712.2671.9%
2020Tyler Boyd, Cin.1107984110.7471.8%
2016Jarvis Landry, Mia.13194113612.1471.8%
2017Randall Cobb, G.B.92666539.9471.7%
2007Anquan Boldin, Ariz.997185312.0971.7%
2014Randall Cobb, G.B.12791128714.11271.7%
2014Emmanuel Sanders, Den.141101140413.9971.6%
2018Jordy Nelson, Oak.886373911.7371.6%

There are some moving parts here. The Beasley controversy could fade or be resolved amicably, or it could be the talented Davis (who turned 20 percent of his 35 catches into touchdowns a year ago) who emerges as the best option behind Diggs.

But there's no evidence that Sanders was released by New Orleans for any reason but the cap hell they were in. Good player, in a pass-heavy offense working with a talented young quarterback. Not a player who should be forgotten in the later rounds of drafts, and with the chance to dramatically outperform where he'll be selected if some things break right.

--Andy Richardson