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The Chiefs released Steve Breaston the other day, which could be good news for the Atlanta Falcons. Breaston is a reliable receive, sure-handed and with a track record of success, and one that will likely come fairly cheap. He's that rare free agent that I think could improve the team's depth without breaking the bank. He could come in and immediately challenge Harry Douglas and Drew Davis for snaps in the slot, and I think he'd have a good shot of winning that role.
Still, even with those pluses, we have to address his bizarre 2012 season. For help with that, I turned to the great Joel Thorman of Arrowhead Pride. Here's his report on Breaston:
Steve Breaston was your classic third receiver in Arizona behind Larry Fitzgerald and Anquan Boldin when they went to the Super Bowl. Todd Haley, his offensive coordinator in Arizona, left for the Chiefs job in 2009 and by the time 2011 rolled around the Chiefs had inked Breaston to a five-year deal. In year one Breaston did well enough, picking up over 700 yards and contributing to the team. He wasn't a star, no. But he was productive.
Then the bizarre 2012 season came. For reasons that are STILL not known, Romeo Crennel started benching Breaston. I'm talking about putting in an undrafted guy named Jamar Newsome in over Breaston. Crazy stuff that made no sense. We never got a good explanation as to why. Breaston's not a bad guy and the situation wasn't contentious or anything like that. It just didn't make sense. Read more about that situation here.
So when you're looking at his stats and see the big drop last year, remember that the reason behind that could be a number of things. It's not necessarily because Breaston all of a sudden started sucking. I highly doubt that it is.
Breaston's best suited for the role he held in Arizona -- a No. 3 option. He doesn't have the size to be a No. 1 and he's always been second (or third) fiddle to another big play receiver. You would think he's a slot receiver but he didn't play the slot very much, at least not last year. He's an intelligent dude who works hard and has interests outside of football (which not all teams like).
Many thanks to Joel for this. Your thoughts on Breaston?