Top Free Agent Wide Receivers: Are Tee Higgins and Mike Evans Headed Elsewhere?

Who leads this season's group of free agent wide receivers? Will names like Tee Higgins, Mike Evans, and Michael Pittman Jr. break the bank?

Wide receiver is a hotly demanded position in today’s NFL landscape. One look at how much names like Tyreek Hill, Davante Adams, Stefon Diggs, and Cooper Kupp, among others, are paid helps illustrate the proof of their value.

All the more reason why the 2024 free agency period is one to watch once again for the wideout market.

Four wide receivers crack PFN’s Top 100 Free Agents list, but it’s time to sort through who the best ones for this free agency class are.

2024 Top Free Agent Wide Receivers

The following ranking is from Pro Football Network’s NFL Analyst Dallas Robinson.

1) Tee Higgins
2) Mike Evans
3) Michael Pittman Jr.
4) Calvin Ridley
5) Marquise Brown
6) Darnell Mooney
7) Gabe Davis
8) Curtis Samuel
9) Odell Beckham Jr.
10) Tyler Boyd

Tee Higgins and Mike Evans Headline 2024 FA Wide Receivers

There are few teams where Tee Higgins wouldn’t be the WR1, with one of them being the franchise he’s played for his entire career, having to play second fiddle to Ja’Marr Chase in Cincinnati. This offseason, though, presents the multi-time 1,000-yard wideout a chance to become someone’s WR1 and be the next wideout to break the bank.

Spotrac already projects Higgins to have a $74.4 million deal with an average salary of $18.6 million — which would place him in the top 20 among the highest-paid wide receivers.

The Tennessee Titans, with former Cincy offensive coordinator Brian Callahan as head coach, could be one spot. The Bengals, however, are likely to franchise tag Higgins.

Like Higgins, it’s hard to imagine Mike Evans donning a uniform other than that of the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, which he’s worn throughout his career.

Tampa Bay could also use the franchise tag on the record-breaking WR. Still, several teams will likely value the fact that the 30-year-old has surpassed 1,000 yards in every season of his 10-year career very highly. This gives them good reason to offer the Super Bowl 55 winner a mega deal.

Michael Pittman Jr. has emerged as an underrated star in a realm full of them. All he’s done with the Indianapolis Colts is improve his season-long catch totals from 88 to 99 to 109 this past season. He’s also racked up 3,662 career yards and 15 touchdowns.

Pittman’s done it while catching passes from seven different starting quarterbacks in Indy, including rookie Anthony Richardson and 2023 Pro Bowler Gardner Minshew. Pittman will be in high demand, but the Colts could be another team willing to use the franchise tag to retain their top receiver.

Calvin Ridley has redeemed himself nicely following his NFL suspension. He returned to 1,000-yard status last season with the Jacksonville Jaguars, and his 76 receptions were the most since his breakout in 2020.

While the top three receivers on this list have a high chance of being franchise-tagged, Ridley has a slimmer probability, with edge rusher Josh Allen likely to be Jacksonville’s tag candidate. Ridley, though, can bring veteran speed and hands to his next spot.

Marquise “Hollywood” Brown was once a fast-rising star who put together a 91-catch, 1,008-yard season with the Baltimore Ravens. That was before the Ravens dealt him away to the Arizona Cardinals in a blockbuster 2022 trade.

Since then, Brown has struggled with injuries and has failed to match his 2021 production. In fairness, the fact he’s had to operate without Kyler Murray for significant chunks of time and also went through a coaching staff change before last season hasn’t helped his cause. Brown could use a better offensive environment that can take advantage of his quickness.

Of the remaining top 10 wide receivers available, one very intriguing name is Odell Beckham Jr. OBJ wasn’t often heavily involved in the Ravens’ air attack in numerous games — including the AFC Championship Game when he didn’t catch his first pass until after the second quarter.

Still, teams may want the veteran’s expertise and experience in winning a Super Bowl.

MORE: Top Free Agent Running Backs 2024

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