Wide recipients get big payday in the NFL

Cooper Kupp is part of a new line of high-paying receivers.

Cooper Kupp is part of a new line of high-paying receivers.
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There are now 12 broad receivers in the NFL with contracts giving them an average annual value of 20 million dollars or more. Nine of those contracts – Chris Godwin, DJ Moore, Cooper Kupp, Davante Adams, Tyreek Hill, Mike Williams, AJ Brown, Terry McLaurin and Stefon Diggs – have been signed this season. Just three years ago, only one recipient made that kind of money, Julio Jones. The widespread market for tape recorders has exploded recently, and it’s not like a high school ice bomb in a boys’ bathroom. I’m talking about scorched earth, Chernobyl over and over again. It erupted to a height that no one could have predicted.

With so many huge contracts in widespread positions, some fans have wondered if teams can fill other positions with talented players. I am one of those people. Given how large the midfield and receiver markets are, how are teams supposed to fill their attack and defense with enough talent to win a Super Bowl? With the current salary cap, it seems almost impossible for a franchise midfielder to get past their rookie contract, a wide-ranging top receiver past their rookie contract, and a defender. excellence. The Buccaneers do, but that’s largely because Tom Brady is willing to take a pay cut. The Green Bay Packers did, but had to get rid of Davante Adams to make room for Rodgers’ crazy signing. Same goes for the chiefs, but they don’t even have that elite defense force. They have a mediocre defense and crazy attack. However, that was enough for the team to trade for star Tireek Hill.

There are three teams that can qualify: the Raiders, Browns, and Rams. However, I would argue that the first two are borderline as the Raiders’ defense is still uncertain, even with Chandler Jones, and the Browns will likely never find the “franchise midfield” right for them. . The Rams are the exception. Somehow, they managed to get Matt Stafford and Cooper Kupp into the big deals while paying out two of the biggest defensive deals in the NFL: Jalen Ramsey and Aaron Donald. They are witches with money. I don’t know how they do it, but their accountants and finance guys are obviously much smarter than I am.

You look at other recipients making over $20 million a year and start to wonder, “Would any of these teams be able to keep these people after their contracts expire?” On the surface, the answer is mostly no. The Cardinals are likely to drop DeAndre Hopkins to replace Kyler Murray, who is currently looking for a major contract extension. Chargers with two collectors earn $20 million plus a year. Do you really think the Chargers can afford it if midfielder Justin Herbert is no longer on his rookie contract? How will the Eagles handle AJ Brown when they have to start paying more for Jalen Hurts? What about DeVonta Smith? What will happen to the three-headed Bengals of Burrow, Chase and Higgins when the three start looking for contract renewals?

It looks like the wide reception position could become a revolving door for talented veterans forced to pack up and skip town year after year to join a team that can pay off. their giants. However, venerable NFL agent Leigh Steinberg told Deadspin that there was nothing to worry about.

“This season has been the fastest one-off explosion in a position I’ve ever seen,” Steinberg said of the wide receiver contracts signed a few months ago. “The whole question under the hood is ‘Who is replaceable and modular, and who is irreplaceable and non-modular?” and a group of teams made the decision about an hour ago. month that the wide receiver position is now irreplaceable.” If that’s true, though, why would teams like the Chiefs, Packers, Cowboys, and Raven trade their top receivers in the wilds? If wide receiver placement is so important and the belief that a team with a wide receiver of talent will spend whatever they can on him, why don’t those teams do the same? so?

“Because the wage cap is specifically designed to create parity,” says Steinberg. “The specific design of the salary cap is to force the dominant teams to lose key players.” That raises an interesting point. The NFL’s salary cap has increased dramatically over the past few seasons. In 2016, the capitalization of which is 155.27 million dollars. Now, it’s at $208.2 million – up 34 percent. However, player contracts have grown to a significantly larger amount. In 2016, Julio Jones had the highest hit of any wide receiver (15.9 million dollars). Today, Kenny Golladay has a larger number attached to him. Hell, Tyreek Hill’s average annual value is $30 million, and that’s excluding his signing bonus. That number is an 88.66% increase from Jones’ full cap in 2016. The pay cap may be trending up, but midfield and wide receiver salaries are exploding. at an even higher rate. So why is there still nothing to worry about despite the dizzying increase in wages?

Steinberg explained that while the market for wide receivers and quarterback quartets has grown, NFL teams are also looking for other placement groups. “Offensive defenders, midfield midfielders and backrunners have all dwindled in their importance. It’s all about supply and demand.” Where today’s highest-paid broad-based receiver earns more than he would in 2016, the highest-paid left guard in 2022, more or less remains the same. In 2016, Oakland’s Kelichi Osemele hit a $13.2 million cap tied to him. In 2022, Indianapolis’s Quenton Nelson hit the $13,754,000 cap. Not as big of a difference as you’d expect. Based on the percentage of the salary cap that those values ​​took up, the value of the left guard position has dropped drastically.

If you’re a protector, a protector, or are going back to high school or college right now and thinking “What the hell is that? So you’re telling me I’m not going to make much in the NFL now? ” you have Bengalis to thank for that. According to Steinberg, the success of teams reaching and winning the Super Bowl becomes a model that other teams try to replicate. That should come as no surprise to anyone. “There’s a lot of mimicry in football. The league that saw these two teams feature at this year’s Super Bowl highlights the widespread recipients of the breakthrough and the indispensable ability to execute the behavior.” their attack.” Steinberg doesn’t believe that’s the key to success in the NFL. Steinberg continued, “The key to winning is an owner with consistency and vision, an office that excels in finding, trading and contracting talent, and a coach. have an efficient system. The quality of the players is not as valuable as the quality of the ownership, the office and the coaching staff when it comes to winning.

With so many wide receivers today looking to cash in on the market, it’s less likely that we’ll see elite veteran midfield quartets paired with elite veteran wide receivers, but that’s just is in the short term. As the market continues to dry up, and we start to see more reruns drop, along with pools of less valuable positions, those great takers will find their way back with the likes of Rodgers and Mahomes. Wage caps, as well as bad decisions in the past, can prevent that from happening now, but according to Steinberg, we should expect an equilibrium in the near future.

Essentially, the broad receiver market may continue to boom for a few years, but there’s no reason to worry that it’s going to collapse altogether. There’s a reason so many teams are salivating at the chance to get someone with good hands. Other status groups will lose money, but that’s just how the free agency market works. Become priceless, or lose value. Don’t expect to see widespread collectors drop in value any time soon.

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