Marvin Jones and Mohamed Sanu: Who’s more valuable?

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Nov 5, 2015; Cincinnati, OH, USA; Cincinnati Bengals wide receiver Mohamed Sanu (12) and wide receiver Marvin Jones (82) against the Cleveland Browns at Paul Brown Stadium. The Bengals won 31-10. Mandatory Credit: Aaron Doster-USA TODAY Sports
Nov 5, 2015; Cincinnati, OH, USA; Cincinnati Bengals wide receiver Mohamed Sanu (12) and wide receiver Marvin Jones (82) against the Cleveland Browns at Paul Brown Stadium. The Bengals won 31-10. Mandatory Credit: Aaron Doster-USA TODAY Sports /
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Marvin Jones will command a higher salary than Mohamed Sanu, but which player will come at the greater value?

Marvin Jones or Mohamed Sanu? The Bengals certainly want to re-sign one or both of these receivers, but opposing teams are likely to throw boatloads of money at one or both pass-catchers, forcing the Bengals to either overpay or move on from their receivers.

Marvin Jones, despite being drafted in the fifth round of the 2012 draft–Sanu was taken in the third round of the same draft–is clearly a better wide receiver than Sanu. There’s plenty of good, when it comes to Marvin Jones; we could talk about that all day long. The two knocks on Jones, however, are that he isn’t suited to be a team’s top receiving target–Sanu isn’t either, but opposing teams don’t view Sanu as a number one wideout–and that Jones is very injury-prone. Jones missed the entire 2014 season with foot and ankle injuries, and critics have noted his slight frame is a cause of concern.

Mohamed Sanu, despite being the lesser receiver, has great upside. He’s a fantastic gadget player who can pass, catch and run. He has also shown potential to be an explosive receiver while playing on the outside, particularly when he was Cincinnati’s top target halfway through the 2014 season after the wide receiving corps was decimated by injuries.

Per Spotrac, Marvin Jones is expected about $5.5 million per year. His projected contract measures in at a four year, $22.1 million deal. On the other hand, Spotrac projects Mohamed Sanu to make about $4.3 million per year. Spotrac envisions Sanu signing a four year, $17.2 million contract.

Next: A.J. Green: NFL's best wide receiver?

So which player is more valuable?

To me, Sanu will likely be the more valuable player. Sure, Jones is the better receiver. But the odds of a desperate team like Detroit, Cleveland, Atlanta or New York shoveling money Jones’ way leaves Sanu likely the more valuable player. Sure, he’s not better. But Mohamed Sanu could be a sneaky valuable signing in this season’s wide receiver class.

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