I'm a Chiefs fan, which means I'm biased, so I'd place him in the top handful of available receivers. But, according to unbiased rankings, the top five sounds about right for him.
The top free agency receiver is Wes Welker, but we know the New England Patriots won't let him get away so he'll get the franchise tag or a longterm deal. And then there's Mike Wallace of the Pittsburgh Steelers. Again, they won't let him leave.
Despite his touchdown receptions dropping from 15 to five, Bowe had an impressive 2011. Catching a pass of 20 yards or more in 12 of 16 games this year, he showed that he can stretch the field and, in the right situation, could put up big numbers again in 2012.
He caught a pass over 20 yards in 75 percent of the games this season so he's one of the few guys on the team that consistently stretches the field. And, he's only 27 years old, which means he has at least a few more years in his prime.
Jackson is already 29 years old and his legal past may be more red flags than Bowe's occasional boneheadedness. But....I think Jackson is a better talent than Bowe. He can stretch the field a little more (maybe that's due partially the quarterbacks each guy has played with) and I love me some 6'5" receivers so he gets bonus points on size.
But which one is the better free agent? Which one am I going to sign if I'm a team not named the Chiefs? Again, I'm biased, but I take Bowe. He's younger and, outside of his 2009 season, he's been very consistent in the league. I think he might actually be less of a risk than Jackson.
So those are your top four receivers. The first two -- Welker and Wallace -- are likely staying put. But Jackson, and perhaps Bowe, could hit the open market. Thoughts on how those guys are ranked?