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Transplant receivers

Re-located wide receivers tend to decline

There’s a bunch of notable receivers switching teams this year: not only Davante Adams and Tyreek Hill, but also A.J. Brown and Hollywood Brown. History shows with these kind of prospects that there are way more misses than hits.

Since 2000, 49 times a wide receiver has posted top-25 PPR numbers, then moved to a new team for the next season (whether it be by trade or free agency). Only 9 of those wide receivers then finished with better numbers with their new team. Over 80 percent of these receivers in other words, therefore, got worse.

Part of this, of course, can be attributed to factors other than the player moving. You take any group of 49 receivers who all ranked in the top 25 and they will decline as a group. Some of them will get hurt, and others simply won’t be as good – it’s easier to get worse than to get better. But in general, it doesn’t tend to be a big plus to be moved to a new team.

Each case must be looked at on its own merits, of course. But for this season, I don’t love the situations for any of these four guys. Adams and Hill are both working with quarterbacks who aren’t as good as the ones they left behind. A.J. Brown is now paired with scatter-armed Jalen Hurts. With Hollywood Brown, I think he’ll catch more deep balls this year, but his overall workload will decline (he’s not catching 91 passes again).

In the chart below, the final column shows the percentage change after switching teams (using PPR scoring). For the nine players who got better, I have tagged them with black dots.

YearPlayerTeamsOld statsNew statsDiff
2001• Jerry RiceS.F. to Oak.75-805-783-1139-927%
2002Keenan McCardellJac. to T.B.93-1110-661-670-6-32%
2002Qadry IsmailBalt. to Ind.74-1059-744-462-3-52%
2002Johnnie MortonDet. to K.C.77-1154-429-397-1-60%
2003Peerless PriceBuff. to Atl.94-1252-964-838-3-39%
2003Laveranues ColesNYJ to Was.89-1264-582-1204-6-4%
2004Keenan McCardellT.B. to S.D.84-1174-931-393-1-70%
2004• Terrell OwensS.F. to Phil.80-1102-977-1200-1415%
2004David BostonS.D. to Mia.70-880-74-80-0-94%
2004Justin McCareinsTen. to NYJ47-813-856-770-4-12%
2005Muhsin MuhammadCar. to Chi.93-1405-1664-750-4-51%
2005Derrick MasonTen. to Balt.96-1168-786-1073-3-17%
2005• Randy MossMin. to Oak.49-767-1360-1005-81%
2006Deion BranchN.E. to Sea.78-998-553-725-4-27%
2006Donte StallworthN.O. to Phil.70-945-738-725-5-32%
2006Antonio BryantCle. to S.F.69-1009-440-733-3-32%
2007Darrell JacksonSea. to S.F.63-956-1046-497-3-48%
2008Bernard BerrianChi. to Min.71-951-548-964-8-1%
2009Terrell OwensDall. to Buff.69-1052-1055-829-6-25%
2009T.J. HoushmandzadehCin. to Sea.92-904-479-911-3-9%
2009Laveranues ColesNYJ to Cin.70-850-743-514-5-37%
2010Brandon MarshallDen. to Mia.101-1120-1086-1014-3-26%
2010Santonio HolmesPitt. to NYJ79-1248-552-746-6-30%
2010Anquan BoldinAriz. to Balt.84-1024-564-837-7-13%
2010T.J. HoushmandzadehSea. to Balt.79-911-330-398-3-53%
2012• Brandon MarshallMia. to Chi.81-1214-6118-1508-1140%
2012• Vincent JacksonS.D. to T.B.60-1106-972-1384-813%
2012Laurent RobinsonDall. to Jac.54-858-1124-252-0-76%
2012Pierre GarconInd. to Was.70-947-644-633-5-32%
2013Wes WelkerN.E. to Den.118-1354-673-778-10-28%
2013• Mike WallacePitt. to Mia.64-836-873-930-52%
2013Brandon LloydN.E. to S.F.74-911-514-294-1-75%
2014Eric DeckerDen. to NYJ87-1288-1174-962-5-29%
2014DeSean JacksonPhil. to Was.82-1332-956-1169-6-22%
2015Jeremy MaclinPhil. to K.C.85-1318-1087-1088-8-11%
2015Mike WallaceMia. to Min.67-862-1039-473-2-54%
2017Brandin CooksN.O. to N.E.78-1173-865-1082-7-10%
2017Terrelle PryorCle. to Was.77-1007-520-240-1-77%
2017Pierre GarconWas. to S.F.79-1041-340-500-0-55%
2018Jarvis LandryMia. to Cle.112-987-981-976-5-17%
2018• Brandin CooksN.E. to LAR65-1082-780-1204-610%
2018Dez BryantDall. to Balt.69-838-66-47-2-88%
2019Antonio BrownPitt. to N.E.104-1297-154-56-1-95%
2019Odell BeckhamNYG to Cle.77-1052-674-1035-4-13%
2019Adam HumphriesT.B. to Ten.76-816-537-374-2-54%
2020• DeAndre HopkinsHou. to Ariz.104-1165-7115-1407-68%
2020• Stefon DiggsMin. to Buff.63-1130-6127-1535-851%
2021Marvin JonesDet. to Jac.76-978-973-832-4-21%
2021Curtis SamuelCar. to Was.77-851-56-27-0-95%
2022Davante AdamsG.B. to L.V.123-1553-11?-?-??
2022Tyreek HillK.C. to Mia.111-1239-9?-?-??
2022Hollywood BrownBalt. to Ari.91-1008-6?-?-??
2022A.J. BrownTen. to Phi.63-869-5?-?-??

(A.J. Brown, by the way, didn't finish with top-25 PPR numbers last year; I'm listing him because he's done it before -- certainly is a notable player at the position.)

—Ian Allan

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