Who are the highest-paid wide receivers in the NFL?
How much money does the most expensive receiver in the NFL make? Here are the 10 wideouts with the highest annual salary.
The guys throwing the ball are the highest-paid players in the NFL. The guys catching the ball reel in some major paydays, too.
Wide receiver is one of the most valuable positions in the league. An elite receiver can change the complexion of an entire offense, and that allows them to demand a sizable salary.
The price for a No. 1 receiver has soared in recent years, surpassing $20 million annually. A handful of players have set the bar and lived up to that massive number, while others have cashed in without posting numbers on the field to back it up.
With a number of marquee names on the free agent market this offseason, here are the NFL’s 10 most expensive receivers based on their annual averages for the 2022 season. Athletes like DJ Moore, who received a three-year, nearly $62 million extension with the Panther set to begin in 2023, could make this list down the road.
1. Davante Adams, Las Vegas Raiders ($28.25 million)
Davante Adams now has the top spot on this list after the Green Bay Packers traded him to the Las Vegas Raiders.
Green Bay used its franchise tag on Adams earlier this month, giving him a one-year deal worth roughly $20 million. Adams reportedly told the team he will not play under the franchise tag next season. Instead of striking a long-term deal with Adams, Green Bay dealt him to the AFC.
Adams and Las Vegas then agreed to a new five-year contract worth $141.25 million, making Adams the highest-paid receiver in football.
2. DeAndre Hopkins, Arizona Cardinals ($27.25 million)
After holding the top spot for a while, DeAndre Hopkins has been bumped to second place.
The former Houston Texans wideout was dealt to the Arizona Cardinals two offseasons ago and later signed a two-year, $54.5 million extension. His talent backs up the money, too, as he was named an All-Pro four straight years before injuries hampered him in 2021.
3. Keenan Allen, Los Angeles Chargers ($20.025 million)
One of the best route runners in football is also one of the highest-paid players at his position.
Keenan Allen inked a four-year, $80.1 million extension with the Los Angeles Chargers right before the start of the 2020 season. That four-year deal works out nicely for the Chargers, who are giving loads of money to Allen before they have to break the bank for Justin Herbert.
T-4. Mike Williams, Los Angeles Chargers ($20 million)
If Allen’s deal wasn’t evidence enough, Mike Williams’ new extension shows just how badly the Chargers want to maximize Herbert’s rookie deal.
Coming off a career year, Williams signed a three-year, $60 million contract earlier this month, giving Herbert two $20 million receivers for the next three seasons.
T-4. Amari Cooper, Cleveland Browns ($20 million)
The Dallas Cowboys and Cleveland Browns evidently have different views on how much Amari Cooper is worth.
Dallas reportedly decided to trade Cooper and his $20 million annual salary to Cleveland in exchange for a couple of draft picks. After moving on from Odell Beckham Jr. during the season and releasing Jarvis Landry on March 14, the Browns are banking on Cooper to help elevate Baker Mayfield and the Browns’ offense.
Cooper has three years left on the five-year, $100 million contract he signed with Dallas in 2020.
T-4. Chris Godwin, Tampa Bay Buccaneers ($20 million)
Godwin has now moved up this list after agreeing to a three-year, $60 million extension with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, according to ESPN's Adam Schefter. Godwin will receive $40 million in guaranteed money.
The Bucs had used the franchise tag on him ahead of the March 8 deadline and had until July 15 to extend him.
Though he tore his ACL in Week 15, getting him back at some point of the season will be a huge boost to the receiving depth chart now that Tom Brady has come out of retirement.
7. Michael Thomas, New Orleans Saints ($19.25 million)
The New Orleans Saints’ record-breaking, five-year deal with Michael Thomas in 2019 had an immediate payoff. Thomas made NFL history by reeling in 149 receptions and helping the Saints to a 13-3 record.
Since then, they’ve hardly seen the prolific receiver on the field. He played nine total games in 2020 and missed the entire 2021 season with an ankle injury.
Now, the Saints are looking to get a healthy Thomas back on the field to help a new quarterback under new head coach Dennis Allen. By restructuring his deal in February, Thomas seems intent on returning to the field in New Orleans.
T-8. Tyreek Hill, Kansas City Chiefs ($18 million)
Cheetah makes quite a bit of cheddar.
Tyreek Hill is set to earn $18 million in 2022 as he enters the final year of a three-year, $54 million extension he signed in 2019. However, the speedy receiver reportedly is negotiating a new contract that could potentially bump him into the top five on this list.
Hill is certainly in the company with the best wideouts in the league when it comes to production. He finished third in the league with 111 catches last season and eclipsed 1,000 receiving yards for the fourth time in five years.
His biggest bargaining chip might not be how good he is compared to the highest-paid receivers – it’s how good he is compared to the other players making $18 million per season.
T-8. Christian Kirk, Jacksonville Jaguars ($18 million)
The Jacksonville Jaguars brought out the Brinks truck to get Trevor Lawrence another weapon.
The team reportedly agreed to a four-year, $72 million deal with former Cardinals receiver Christian Kirk. The contract reportedly has a maximum value of $84 million.
Kirk is coming off a career season, but there is still a difference in production between him and other players on this list. Kirk had 77 catches, 982 receiving yards and five touchdowns, but he only had one touchdown over his final 10 games as Hopkins dealt with a pair of injuries.
While Kirk’s production may not stack up with players like Hopkins, Adams and Hill, it will be a welcome addition for the Jaguars. His 2021 numbers are better than any Jaguar in all three receiving categories.
T-8. Kenny Golladay, New York Giants ($18 million)
Jacksonville is hoping Kirk doesn’t follow in Kenny Golladay’s footsteps after signing a four-year, $72 million free agent deal.
The New York Giants attempted to add a No. 1 receiver for Daniel Jones during 2021 free agency by signing Golladay to a massive deal. That contract has yet to translate into points, as Golladay finished the year without a touchdown and the Giants came away with the second-lowest-scoring offense in the NFL.