Top 10 Highest Paid NFL Wide Receivers

Top 10 Highest Paid NFL Wide Receivers

The biggest contracts in the NFL tend to go to quarterbacks, but wide receivers can collect decent paychecks as well. For example, Larry Fitzgerald has the most career earnings among wide receivers, having racked up over $180 million. Alternatively, Kenny Golladay has the highest 2022 cap hit among receivers, at $21.5 million. However, this list is a ranking of the top-paid wide receivers in terms of salary, which is different from career earnings or cap hit.

Who Are The Highest-Paid Wide Receivers in the World?

  1. DK Metcalf - $31,000,000
  2. Cooper Kupp - $30,000,000
  3. Terry McLaurin - $29,479,000
  4. Mike Williams - $28,000,000
  5. Tyreek Hill - $26,635,000
  6. Deebo Samuel - $25,200,000
  7. Stefon Diggs - $24,580,000
  8. A.J. Brown - $24,220,000
  9. Davante Adams - $23,360,000
  10. Christian Kirk - $22,500,000

1. DK Metcalf - $31,000,000

DK Metcalf has the highest salary of all NFL wide receivers for the 2022 season, at $31 million. Metcalf, a former 2019 second-round pick, is working on a three-year, $72 million deal he signed with Seattle in July of 2022. The contract extension came months after the Seahawks traded away their franchise quarterback, Russel Wilson. The big extension is an impressive milestone for Metcalf, who was told he might never play football again after suffering a cervical neck fracture in 2018.

2. Cooper Kupp - $30,000,000

Cooper Kupp will be the second-highest-paid wide receiver in 2022, earning $30 million after a masterful 2021 season. Kupp managed to win the receiving triple crown last year, leading the NFL in receptions, receiving yards, and receiving touchdowns. Kupp is just the fourth player since 1970 to lead in all three categories, joining Jerry Rice, Sterling Sharpe, and Steve Smith. Kupp’s Rams won the Super Bowl last year, defeating the Bengals 23-20. The Rams will need Kupp to be every bit as brilliant this season if they want to repeat what they accomplished last year. 

3. Terry McLaurin - $29,479,000

Terry McLaurin, nicknamed “Scary Terry,” is the third-highest-paid wide receiver in 2022, earning $29,479,000. McLaurin, who plays for the Washington Commanders, broke into the NFL in 2019. McLaurin was a third-round draft pick out of Ohio State. McLaurin inked a three-year, $68.36 million contract with the Commanders on June 28, 2022. McLaurin was previously the only trusted wide receiver in a weak Commanders’ offense. Now, McLaurin competes with rookie first-round pick Jahan Dotson and veteran Curtis Samuel for reps. 

4. Mike Williams - $28,000,000

Mike Williams is next on the list of highest-paid receivers, with a salary of $28 million. He was drafted seventh overall in the 2017 NFL draft after playing college football at Clemson. 2022 is Williams’ sixth year in the NFL, and he’s looking to add to his 26 touchdowns and 227 receptions that he entered the year with. Williams is the second-string wide receiver (WR2) on a loaded Chargers offense. Keenen Allen has locked up the number-one receiver spot for a while in L.A., but Williams may take over that role soon. 

5. Tyreek Hill - $26,635,000

Tyreek Hill, nicknamed “the Cheetah,” is in his first year with the Miami Dolphins and will earn $26,635,000. Hill spent his first six NFL seasons with the Chiefs, winning a Super Bowl in the 2019 season. Hill had a great connection with Chiefs’ quarterback Patrick Mahomes but was traded away in the 2022 offseason in exchange for a plethora of draft picks, including a first and second-round pick. Hill joins Jaylen Waddle in Miami, forming an elite one-two punch at the receiver position. Hill has had a ton of success already, with 56 touchdowns in his first six seasons, despite being a fifth-round pick in the 2016 NFL Draft. 

6. Deebo Samuel - $25,200,000

Deebo Samuel surprised much of the NFL community by signing a three-year contract on July 31, 2022, which will earn him $25,200,000 a year. Samuel had been exploring trade options but ultimately decided to sign an extension with San Francisco. Samuel is coming off a career year, with 1,405 receiving yards and 365 rushing yards. Deebo Samuel was supposed to play with former third-overall pick, Trey Lance, in 2022. However, Lance was injured early on, forcing the 49ers to go back to veteran Jimmy Garoppolo.

7. Stefon Diggs - $24,580,000

Stefon Diggs is next on the list, with an estimated yearly salary of $24,580,000. Stefon Diggs and Josh Allen are arguably the best wide receiver and quarterback duo in the NFL right now. Diggs was a fifth-round pick in 2015 by the Minnesota Vikings and was traded to Buffalo in March 2020. One of the picks Buffalo traded to Minnesota was used to select Justin Jefferson, who is perhaps the best young receiver right now. Diggs will make $24.58 million in 2022, which is good enough for seventh among NFL wide receivers. However, he probably has his mind set on a Super Bowl rather than making money: the Bills are one of the favorites to win it all this year 

8. A.J. Brown - $24,220,000

A.J. Brown is eighth on this list, thanks to the new deal he signed after being traded to Philadelphia, which will earn him $24,220,000 a year. Brown spent his first three NFL seasons with the Tennessee Titans, who drafted him 51st overall in 2019. Brown was traded to Philadelphia in exchange for two draft picks, one of which was used to select wide receiver Treylon Burks 18th overall in the 2022 Draft. Upon landing in Philly, Brown got off to a good start, hauling in 28 catches for 436 yards in his first five contests.

9. Davante Adams - $23,360,000

Davante Adams joins Tyreek Hill and A.J. Brown as one of the top wide receivers in the NFL who were traded during the 2022 offseason, and this year, he will earn $23,360,000. Adams spent his first eight seasons with Aaron Rodgers and the Green Bay Packers and displayed a dominant connection with the veteran quarterback. Many in the football community were shocked to see Rodgers and Adams split up, as they were arguably the best wide receiver/quarterback duo in the NFL. Rodgers had also just signed a three-year extension with Green Bay, suggesting the team is still in a “win-now” mode. However, Adams will instead be tasked with helping Derek Carr and the Raiders put together a competitive roster and potentially return to the playoffs for the second year in a row.

10. Christian Kirk - $22,500,000

Christian Kirk was signed out of free agency by the Jacksonville Jaguars on a four-year, $72 million contract, equating to $22,500,000 a year. The deal confused many, as $72 million is a ton of money to shovel out to a player who has never had more than six receiving touchdowns in a season. Still, Jacksonville needed somebody for their young franchise quarterback, Trevor Lawrence, to throw the ball to, and they deemed Kirk the best option. Kirk was formerly with Arizona, who drafted him 47th overall in 2018. 

Honorable Mentions

  • D.J. Moore - $20,735,000
  • Chris Godwin - $20,000,000
  • Amari Cooper - $20,000,000
  • Diontae Johnson - $19,001,180
  • Brandin Cooks - $18,500,000
  • Kenny Golladay - $17,750,000
  • Keenen Allen - $16,500,000
  • Tyler Lockett - $16,000,000
  • Michael Thomas - $15,800,000
  • Allen Robinson - $15,500,000

FAQ

Who is the highest-paid wide receiver in the NFL?

The wide receiver with the biggest 2022 salary is D.K. Metcalf. Metcalf, at 24 years old, will make $31,000,000 during the 2022-23 NFL season and $72,000,000 total over his three-year contract. Cooper Kupp, Terry McLaurin, and Mike Williams come in behind Metcalf with the next-highest salaries for the season.