This NFL offseason has seen some big-name wide receivers and running backs change addresses. Odell Beckham Jr. promises to make Cleveland great aga…eventually. Antonio Brown has run his mouth from the Three Rivers to the Oakland Bay Bridge. Le’Veon Bell now calls New Jersey (yeah don’t @ me on this Jets fans because you play in Jersey) his home and I’m sure he and Adam Gase are already making plans to go out for tacos and beer.
All this change had old MZE thinking, “What other wide receivers and running backs have changed addresses and have had success in their new locations?” I rolled up my sleeves (okay, I don’t usually wear long sleeves so just humor me) and dug deep. I chose only from players who have played at least one season in the past five (2014-2018) and came up with my three best in each category. In my humble opinion, dear readers, here are the best:
Pierre Garcon - Washington Redskins
Garcon began his career in Indianapolis. In four seasons with the Colts he had 188 catches and 2,519 yards with 16 touchdowns. Garcon headed to Washington in 2012 and the change of scenery did him well. While with the Redskins Garcon caught 376 balls, including 21 for touchdowns, and amassed 4,549 receiving yards. This Garcon became the man in D.C.
Golden Tate - Detroit Lions
Tate started his career in Seattle where he had 165 catches, 2,195 yards, and 15 touchdowns in four years. In 2014 it was time for him to go full throttle to the Motor City. Tate spent the better part of five seasons with the Lions where he became a primary target for Matthew Stafford. In 71 games with Detroit, Tate had 416 catches, 4,741 yards, and 22 touchdowns. It wasn’t just a good move for the Lions, it was purely Golden.
Wes Welker - New England Patriots / Denver Broncos
Seems like the Patriots can always find a slot guy who’s basically the same player with a different name and make him a success. It all started with Wes Welker. Welker suited up for one game as a Charger in 2004 before playing for Miami. His three years with the Dolphins were fairly quiet as he had just 96 catches and 1,121 yards. Here came the Patriots. Welker spent six seasons in New England. In those seasons Welker made a ridiculous 672 catches, collected 7,459 receiving yards, and scored 37 receiving touchdowns. He added 146 yards on the ground, averaging 8.1 yards per carry. By the time Welker left New England, the only Patriots fan who didn’t like him was Gisele.
But that's not all. Welker even had success in Denver, catching passes from jilted Paeyton Manning who was out to prove to everyone (read: Jim Irsay) he wasn't done. in 2013 Welker caught 73 passes for almost 800 yards and 10 TDs, which ain't bad considering three other receivers on the Broncos caught 10+ TDs apiece that year.
Frank Gore - Indianapolis Colts
Frank Gore spent his first 10 years in the NFL with the San Francisco 49ers. He left the bay area with almost 14,000 yards from scrimmage. Many running backs would have been happy and called it a career. The "Ageless One" just headed to Indianapolis and kept grinding. In his three years as a Colt, Gore ran for 2,953 yards, had 789 more receiving yards, and scored 19 touchdowns. In terms of a career, you can’t spell ‘Gorgeous’ without Gore.
LeSean McCoy - Buffalo Bills
One of the best dual-threat backs in the NFL was drafted by the Philadelphia Eagles in 2009. For his first six seasons, McCoy ran for 6,792 yards, added 2,282 receiving yards, and scored a total of 54 touchdowns. If your nickname is “Shady” seems almost appropriate for you to become part of the Mafia at some point and McCoy did. In 2015 he joined the Buffalo Bills and continued his dual-threat excellence. McCoy has been a Bill for four seasons. In that time he has 3,814 rushing yards, added 1,334 receiving yards, and has put up 30 total touchdowns. In terms of talent, he is the real McCoy.
Marshawn Lynch - Seattle Seahawks
The Bills had a pretty good running back prior to Shady McCoy coming to Orchard Park. Marshawn Lynch was drafted in 2007 with the 12th overall pick. The former Golden Bear spent three plus seasons with the Bills where he ran for 2,765 yards and 17 rushing touchdowns. He added 94 catches and 670 receiving yards for good measure. In 2010 ‘Skittles’ was paired with coffee when he was traded to Seattle after four games with the Bills. Over the next five plus seasons, Lynch ran for 6,347 yards, caught 158 passes for 1,309 yards, and scored a total of 65 touchdowns. If only Pete Carroll had a chance to go into the future to read this blog post but I digress.
There you have it. My three best wide receivers and running backs who chose a new address in the past five seasons and managed to make it work. Have someone I missed? Hit us up in the comments. We love to hear from you.
Until next time, make sure you fill out those damn cards for the post office, don’t forget to call your cable provider, and throw a kick-ass party before you make an address change.
Yours in football,