The landscape of the highest-paid wide receivers in the NFL seemingly shifts dramatically every single offseason. Who is the highest-paid WR in the NFL, and which other receivers round out the top 11 at the position?
The Highest-Paid Wide Receivers in the NFL
Which wide receivers sit in spots 2 to 11 in terms of the average annual value (AAV) of their contracts? Which players are clinging onto the bottom of the list and could be shifted off this offseason?
11) Keenan Allen, Los Angeles Chargers | AAV: $20.03 million
Keenan Allen is in the second year of his four-year, $80.1 million contract extension. His cap number in 2022 is the sixth-highest at the position at $15.7 million. That number will climb to $21.7 million and $25.8 million over the next two seasons.
Allen’s contract contained $26.5 million in guarantees at signing, with $43 million in total guarantees. His 2022 salary is fully guaranteed, but the Chargers have options after that. If they wanted to move on from Allen next offseason, it would cost just $5.4 million to get the sixth-highest-paid wide receiver off their books.
10) DJ Moore, Carolina Panthers | AAV: $20.6 million
One of the more surprising deals of the 2022 offseason was DJ Moore finding himself fifth on this list. His deal is a three-year contract extension worth $61.884 million. He received $41.6 million in guarantees. Including his fifth-year option, the next four years are worth around $72 million for Moore.
9) Terry McLaurin, Washington Commanders | AAV: $23.67 million
McLaurin became one of the latest receivers to sign a big deal in the 2022 offseason. The Commanders gave McLaurin a three-year contract extension worth $71 million. The deal contained a $28 million signing bonus, and 76% of the money in the extension is fully guaranteed.
8) DK Metcalf, Seattle Seahawks | AAV: $24 million
Just days after the Seahawks opened 2022 training camp, the franchise locked up their young star wide receiver, signing DK Metcalf to a three-year, $72M deal. The contract features $58.2M in guaranteed money, including a $30M signing bonus.
Metcalf became just the latest wide receiver to sign a megadeal in 2022. The best part for Metcalf? He’ll be a free agent again at age 27.
7) Deebo Samuel, San Francisco 49ers | AAV: $24.5 million
From a potential trade around draft season to a mega contract extension, the San Francisco 49ers have their most dangerous weapon under contract for the next three years. PFN Insider Aaron Wilson reported that a deal was in the works, one that would make him among the highest-paid wide receivers in the NFL. Days later, multiple reports indicated that the deal is a three-year, $73.5 million extension, including $58.1 million guaranteed.
6) A.J. Brown, Philadelphia Eagles | AAV: $25 million
The news of A.J. Brown being traded by the Titans on Night 1 of the 2022 NFL Draft rocked the NFL landscape. It was yet another example of how differently teams viewed offering long-term contracts to the WR position.
Immediately after arriving in Philadelphia, Brown penned a four-year extension worth $100 million, including a $23.234 million signing bonus and nearly $40 million fully guaranteed at signing. There is a potential out in the deal after the 2024 season, but that would save the Eagles just $7 million in terms of cap space in 2025.
5) Stefon Diggs, Buffalo Bills | AAV: $26 million
In the quiet period between free agency and the 2022 NFL Draft, Diggs became the latest receiver to jump over $25 million per year in AAV. Diggs’ four-year contract extension is worth $104 million with a reported $70 million in guaranteed money.
4) Cooper Kupp, Los Angeles Rams | AAV: $26.67 million
Amazingly, Cooper Kupp is the only player in the top five highest-paid wide receivers in the NFL who did not switch teams prior to signing that contract. The 2021 Offensive Player of the Year award winner put pen to paper on a three-year extension worth $80 million, including an incredible $75 million in total guaranteed money.
3) DeAndre Hopkins, Arizona Cardinals | AAV: $27.25 million
When Hopkins signed his contract, the expectation was that it would take some time to beat. The $27.25 million number was so far and above the next highest on the list at the time. However, somewhat bizarrely, there is a chance Hopkins doesn’t even play either of those two years.
The Cardinals can release Hopkins after this year with just an $18.1 million dead money charge. In contrast, if he is on the roster in 2023, his cap number would be $30.75 million. As part of the deal, Hopkins received $27.5 million as a signing bonus and $42.75 million in guaranteed money at signing. Interestingly, there was more value in total guarantees ($60.05 million) than the value of the contract itself.
2) Davante Adams, Las Vegas Raiders | AAV: $28.25 million
Following the trade to the Raiders, Adams blew through the numbers for Hopkins with a five-year contract worth $141.25 million. However, he didn’t remain atop the list of the highest-paid WRs for long.
Who is the highest-paid WR in the NFL?
Who sits atop the list when it comes to the highest-paid WR in terms of AAV? That honor goes to Tyreek Hill, who was traded to the Miami Dolphins earlier this offseason, with an average annual value of $30 million.
1) Tyreek Hill, Miami Dolphins | AAV: $30 million
Following his trade to the Dolphins, Hill signed a four-year contract extension worth $30 million a year. The deal’s total value is $120 million with $72.2 million in guaranteed money.
The deal is worth $75 million across the first three years, with the fourth year taking it up to $120 million. The final year is not guaranteed, but it certainly boosts the overall numbers, making Hill the highest-paid wide receiver.