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CONGRATULATIONS: Cowboys WR CeeDee Lamb Welcomes first baby….

CONGRATULATIONS: Cowboys WR CeeDee Lamb Welcomes first baby….

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Agent’s Take: Justin Jefferson, CeeDee Lamb headline another wide receiver market explosion

 

 

The wide receiver market had an unprecedented salary explosion in 2022. There were four wide receivers with contracts averaging $20 million per year or more at the end of the 2021 season. The number of members in the $20 million-per-year wide receiver club grew to 14 in a matter of months even with the Tennessee Titans releasing Julio Jones that offseason.

 

 

Either three or four wide receivers hit the $25 million-per-year mark in 2022 depending on interpretation. On paper, Tyreek Hill became the NFL’s first $30 million-per-year non-quarterback. He signed a four-year, $120 million contract extension, averaging $30 million per year, in March 2022 as a part of his trade from the Kansas City Chiefs to the Miami Dolphins.

 

 

The extension has $72.2 million in guarantees where a wide receiver-record $52.535 million was fully guaranteed at signing. Realistically, Hill has a three-year extension for $75 million because of $45 million in 2026, the final contract year.

 

 

 

Hill’s extension surpassed Davante Adams’ deal. The ink was barely dry on the five-year, $140 million contract Adams received from the Las Vegas Raiders a couple of days before when he was traded by the Green Bay Packers after being designated as a franchise player. This deal has $65.67 million in guarantees, of which $42.75 million was fully guaranteed at signing. The maximum value of Adams’ contract is $141.25 million because of an annual $250,000 Pro Bowl incentive.

 

 

In actuality, Adams has $67.5 million for three years rather than a five-year contract, averaging $28 million per year, because there’s $72.5 million over the last two years. Odds are Adams isn’t going to play 2025 and 2026 for $36.25 million each when he’s 32 and 33 years old.

 

 

The Tennessee Titans surprisingly traded A.J. Brown to the Philadelphia Eagles during the first round of the 2022 NFL Draft. Brown was rewarded with a four-year, $100 million extension, averaging $25 million per year that contains slightly more than $57 million of guarantees, in connection with the trade.

 

 

 

The Los Angeles Rams smartly recognized that Cooper Kupp’s contract needed to be addressed. The three-year, $47.25 million extension (worth a maximum of $49.5 million through salary escalators) Kupp signed in 2020 left him vastly underpaid with the wide receiver market going haywire.

 

 

Kupp signed a three-year, $80.35 million extension in June 2022. The deal has a wide receiver-record $75 million in guarantees, of which $35 million was fully guaranteed at signing. Kupp can make a legitimate case that he is really the league’s highest-paid wide receiver at $26,783,333 per year because the Hill and Adams contracts are misleading due to artificially inflated salaries at the back of their deals specifically included for cosmetic purposes.

 

 

No wide receivers signed $20 million-per-year deals in 2023. Three have already done so in 2024. Mike Evans got the ball rolling with a contract that isn’t as good as originally advertised. His deal to remain with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers was originally reported as $52 million for two years, averaging $26 million per year. That’s the maximum value of the contract if all $11 million of the incentives and salary escalators are earned, which is highly unlikely.

 

 

Evans actually signed for a base value of $41 million over two years to average $20.5 million per year. There are $35 million of guarantees where $29 million is fully guaranteed at signing. If Evans can continue to be the player he has been during the first 10 years of his NFL career, he should earn $6 million to $7 million of the performance bonuses.

 

 

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