Wednesday, May 25, 2022

Bills extend Stefon Diggs: List of NFL’s top 20 highest-paid receivers, plus who could be next to cash in

Bills extend Stefon Diggs: List of NFL's top 20 highest-paid receivers, plus who could be next to cash in

Assessing the market after another big WR deal

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USATSI

Stefon Diggs became the latest wide receiver to cash in with a lucrative contract extension Wednesday, reportedly agreeing to a new four-year, $104 million deal with the Bills. His extension comes in the wake of a busy 2022 offseason that saw both trades and free agency reset the WR market in a big way.

With that in mind, here’s an updated look at the highest-paid receivers in the game, as well as a preview of which wideouts could be next to secure a major payday:

Top 20 highest-paid WRs

Note: The following chart depicts players’ newest-signed contracts or extensions — essentially the “new money” remaining on their current deals. For example, Tyreek Hill technically has one year left on a previous deal he signed with the Chiefs before his extension with the Dolphins kicks in, but most teams, players and agents base future negotiations off the latest contract figures. This simply means that, while Hill will officially average under $30 million per year from now until the expiration of his deal, his new contract signed with Miami, which runs from 2023-2027, will make him the game’s highest-paid WR at $30M per year.

Tyreek Hill

Dolphins 2022

4 years, $120M

$72.2M

$30M

2027

Davante Adams

Raiders 2022

5 years, $140M

$65.7M

$28M

2027

DeAndre Hopkins

Cardinals 2020

2 years, $54.5M

$49.4M

$27.3M

2025
Stefon Diggs Bills 2022 4 years, $104M $70M $26M 2027
D.J. Moore Panthers 2022 4 years, $61.9M $41.6M $20.6M 2026
Amari Cooper Browns 2020 5 years, $100M $60M $20M 2025
Keenan Allen Chargers 2020 4 years, $80M $50M $20M 2025
Chris Godwin Buccaneers 2022 3 years, $60M $40M $20M 2025
Mike Williams Chargers 2022 3 years, $60M $40M $20M 2025
Michael Thomas Saints 2019 5 years, $96.3M $60.9M

$19.3M 2025
Kenny Golladay Giants 2021 4 years, $72M $40M $18M 2025
Christian Kirk Jaguars 2022 4 years, $72M $37M $18M

2026
Tyler Lockett Seahawks 2021

4 years, $69M $37M $17.3M 2026
Mike Evans Buccaneers 2018 5 years, $82.5M $55M $16.5M 2024
Robert Woods Titans 2021

4 years, $65M $31.7M $16.3M 2026

Brandin Cooks Texans 2018 5 years, $81M $50.5M

$16.2M

2023
Adam Thielen Vikings 2019 4 years, $64M $33M $16M 2025
Cooper Kupp Rams 2020 3 years, $47.3M $35.1M $15.8M 2024

Allen Robinson Rams 2022 3 years, $46.5M

$30.3M $15.5M 2025
Courtland Sutton Broncos 2021 4 years, $60M $34.8M $15M 2026

Notable takeaways:

  • Ten of the top 15 (67%) WR contracts have been signed in the last two years alone
  • The average age of the top four WRs in terms of per-year money: 28.5
  • All eight of the top-20 WR deals signed in 2022 contain at least $40M guaranteed
  • Three of the top-20 WR contracts were signed with other teams (Amari Cooper, Cowboys; Robert Woods, Rams; Brandin Cooks, Rams)

Who’s up next?

These eight wideouts are due for big raises either before, during or immediately following the 2022 season:

Kupp, the reigning Super Bowl MVP who led the NFL with a whopping 145 catches for 1,947 yards and 16 touchdowns for the title-winning Rams, is just two years removed from signing an extension. But the market has shifted so dramatically in the last year or so that he now looks criminally underpaid. The others are mostly 2023 free agents.

Keep in mind that rookie contracts cannot be extended until after a player’s third NFL season, so there’s another crop of young playmakers who will become candidates for lucrative deals after 2022. That group is headlined by the Vikings’ Justin Jefferson, who is well on pace to command top-five WR money; the Cowboys’ CeeDee Lamb, who vaults to No. 1 status in Dallas after Amari Cooper’s departure; the BengalsTee Higgins, whose teammate Ja’Marr Chase could be eyeing his own future payday; the Steelers’ Chase Claypool; the Rams’ Van Jefferson; and the Bills’ Gabriel Davis.

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