Special Interest: NFL Wide Receiver Market

Spotlight Image: NFL Wide Receiver Market

Derek Oliveros

Written by Newspaper Staff Reporter Derek Oliveros

The 2022 NFL Offseason has been eventful to say the least, and one of the most interesting events in it has been how drastically the wide receiver market has changed.  

Going into this year’s offseason, there were a handful of receivers who were primed to get new deals, but no one could have expected how large the deals would be and how it would affect other receivers looking for new contracts. 

The contract that marked the explosion of the wide receiver market was Christian Kirk’s deal he signed with the Jacksonville Jaguars. 

Kirk never reached his full potential while in Arizona, spending most of his time as the second or third string receiver in the Cardinals offense, but this did not stop him from getting a contract that puts him at the twelfth highest paid receiver annually. The full details of his contract are a four-year $72 million deal with $37 million fully guaranteed and a max value of $84 million. 

The Jaguars saw the importance of supplying young quarterback Trevor Lawrence with weapons, and they did so by throwing heaps of money at the wide receiver position. 

This deal happened on the first day of free agency, and the rest of the receivers in the NFL could not have been happier. This deal opened the door for all NFL receivers to get a substantial pay raise on any new deals from this point on. 

The biggest wide receiver looking for a new deal this offseason was Davante Adams, who has had tensions with the Green Bay front office since the 2021 offseason. 

Green Bay was able to give quarterback Aaron Rodgers an expensive extension, which did not leave Adams with the money he was looking for his own extension, and he was not planning to play on the franchise tag the team placed on him.  

Because of this, Adams was traded to a team that would have the facilities to pay him, the Las Vegas Raiders. The Raiders gave Adams a five-year contract worth $140 million, making him the highest paid receiver annually at the time, getting an average of $28 million a year. 

Seeing the money being thrown at other top receivers, this prompted Tyreek Hill to request a trade to a team who could pay him big money. The Miami Dolphins were willing to pay the price of trading for Hill and gave him a deal that makes him an average of $30 million a year, beating out Adams for the highest paid receiver in the NFL. 

Some other notable wide receivers that also hit the bank this offseason include Buffalo’s Stefon Diggs who got a four-year $96 million extension, Panthers’ D.J. Moore who got just over $61 million over three years, Mike Williams and Chris Godwin who both got $60 million over three years from the Chargers and Buccaneers, respectively. 

With all the huge extensions being given out, this makes young receivers who are set to get extensions of their own take actions to make them happen sooner than later. 

As offseason training starts up for most of the NFL, young superstars Deebo Samuel, AJ Brown, and Terry Mclaurin have all decided to sit out of their teams’ offseason programs in hopes of sending the message that they want to get paid, and they want it to happen soon. 

AJ Brown has also expressed his discontent on social media, by removing any affiliation with the Tennessee Titans from his profiles and speaking about how “they switch up quick,” referring to the Titans front office’s attitude regarding his extension. 

Deebo Samuel recognizes the production he provides the 49ers lining up at wideout and running back, and he hopes to be one of the highest paid players in the league because of it. 

The wide receiver market is not showing signs of slowing down, so it may be in the teams’ best interests to pay their guys before they demand too high a salary, or to follow the actions of the Packers and Chiefs and trade them for a large haul of draft picks.

Photo Credits:

Headline image created by Derek Oliveros using Canva