Quarterbacks are the highest-paid players, not only in football, but in almost all professional sports. It has been deemed the most important position among the four major professional U.S. sports, and they’ve been rewarded with life-changing compensation as a result.
NFL odds are frequently adjusted based on how good the quarterback is on a certain team, but other positions are important too. Many NFL franchises value groups like offensive tackles, defensive ends, cornerbacks, and wide receivers. And that latter group saw a drastic change in how the position is rewarded for performance over the last couple of years.
Receivers got paid handsomely in the offseason prior to the 2022 campaign, with many of the game’s high-profile names switching teams thanks to record-breaking contracts. Let’s take a look at the highest-paid players at the wide receiver position and then several names that offer incredible value based on their contracts.
Tyreek Hill – Miami Dolphins
Hill was a mainstay on the high-octane Kansas City offense before the Chiefs determined they’d be better off without him. KC’s loss was Miami’s gain as the Dolphins made him a big-time focal point in his first year in South Beach. But they also locked him up to a big-money deal, extending Hill with a $120 million deal with $72 million guaranteed.
Davante Adams – Las Vegas Raiders
You will notice a theme among several of these big-name wideouts. New team, big money contract. Adams had been paired with Aaron Rodgers, forming arguably the best quarterback-wide receiver combo in the NFL for many years. But Adams was dealt to Las Vegas prior to the 2022 season to reunite with his college teammate Derek Carr.
Adams has the highest-valued contract among all NFL wide receivers but makes just a tad less guaranteed money than HIll.
DeAndre Hopkins – Arizona Cardinals
Hopkins preceded Adams and Hill as a big-name receiver who exchanged jerseys when Houston dealt him to the desert for David Johnson in a deal many panned as a lopsided transaction in the Cardinals’ favor.
D–Hop has the third-highest AAV of all NFL receivers, but the pairing between him and Kyler Murray has yet to produce significant playoff success and, of course, he was suspended for the first six games of the 2022 season for violating the NFL’s substance abuse policy.
Cooper Kupp – Los Angeles Rams
Kupp’s ascension into the upper echelon of the position in the most popular league in the country is remarkable. All he’s done is gone from a third-round pick out of Eastern Washington to one of the game’s most reliable, most explosive players who earned Super Bowl MVP honors after the Rams defeated the Bengals to capture the Lombardi Trophy this past February.
Kupp was rightfully rewarded, and the biggest underdog in the sport entered 2022 as the fourth-highest-paid receiver in the National Football League.
AJ Brown – Philadelphia Eagles
The fifth-highest-paid wideout in the game was drafted by the Titans but was dealt to the Eagles on the night of the 2022 NFL Draft. The Ole Miss product, who lined up on the opposite side of DK Metcalf in college, was already best friends with Eagles’ QB Jalen Hurts and now pairs with former Heisman winner DeVonta Smith to form a potent threat in the City of Brotherly Love.
If you think he hasn’t made an impact in Philly, just check out the Vegas NFL odds for the Eagles’ future markets.
Top Value Wide Receivers
It would be unfair if we didn’t bring up Stefon Diggs. He’s the sixth-highest-paid receiver in the league, and he’s the top option on, arguably, the top offense in the league. He can make a sound argument for the biggest value in the position in the league.
But there are young receivers who are making a case for being the best at their position despite their low cap hit. Justin Jefferson, Ja’Marr Chase, CeeDee Lamb, and Jaylen Waddle are still on their rookie deals but making serious contributions to their respective teams.
As these players continue to progress, watch as the NFL lines shift in their teams’ favor assuming their QBs can keep up.