Highest Paid Wide Receivers In The NFL

by Michael Drahota | Posted on Saturday, August 30th, 2014 | 0

With quarterback and wide receiver statistics ballooning every season, the NFL is now more of a passing league than ever. Top-level wide receivers draw the gameplan of defensive coordinators each week, making them some of the most integral pieces of any given team’s attack. Not surprisingly, that leads to some absolutely massive paydays for elite talents. However, similar to the list of the NFL’s highest paid quarterbacks, the best aren’t always paid the most. Here are the top five earning wide receivers in the NFL according to Sportrac.com:


1.) Mike Wallace, Miami Dolphins – $15 million:

After starting his career in Pittsburgh, Wallace turned his early success into an absolutely huge contract with the Miami Dolphins before the 2013 season. He failed to live up to his promise in a big way, recording only 73 catches for 930 yards and five touchdowns. He’s still reportedly not on the same page as Dolphins quarterback Ryan Tannehill, making him an overpriced commodity that’s going to have to regain his old form if he wants to be labeled as anything other than a gigantic bust in Miami.


2.) Percy Harvin, Seattle Seahawks – $11 million

Harvin has the speed and skills to change the momentum of any game he participates in. He proved that by returning the opening kickoff of last year’s Super Bowl for a touchdown. The Seahawks signed him away from the Minnesota Vikings prior to last year, but as has been the knock on Harvin, he just can’t stay healthy. He’s missed 22 of his team’s last 25 regular season games, making him an extremely high risk/high reward type of player who will break out if he only stays healthy. At $11 million per season, that’s quite the gamble, but the Seahawks have all the other pieces in place.


3.) Andre Johnson, Houston Texans – $10 million

Ageless wonder Johnson continues to put up big numbers in Houston despite questionable quarterback play, recording 109 catches for 1,430 yards and five touchdowns last year. Having never scored double-digit touchdowns, Johnson isn’t the red zone threat that other receivers are, but he’s no doubt consistent when healthy. He made a scene by holding out for a trade in the offseason, but it was clear that the Texans would not acquiesce due to his huge salary that most teams would not even consider paying. He’s back in camp and ready to play for the time being, and his talent lives up to his high price tag. If Texans quarterback Ryan Fitzpatrick can put together a decent season, Johnson will blow up yet again.


4.) Vincent Jackson, Tampa Bay Buccaneers – $10 million:

Nine-year veteran Jackson has looked very solid in his two years in Tampa Bay. He caught 78 passes for 1,224 yards and seven scores last year, and he now has touted 6’5” rookie wideout Mike Evans on the other side of the field. Jackson’s propensity for big plays makes him another boom or bust type of receiver, but he can take over a game if given the chance to. He may be beginning to get up there in years, but he’s still the lead dog in Tampa Bay. With new quarterback Josh McCown now at the helm for the Bucs, expect Jackson to put up big numbers once again.


5.) Dwayne Bowe, Kansas City Chiefs – $8.75 million:

With only 57 receptions for 673 yards in 2013, Bowe continues to slide into irrelevancy with his declining stats. He’s also an off the field risk as well, as he’ll sit out the Chiefs’ first game after being suspended for a marijuana arrest last November. He has the skills, size, and ability to be one of the most dangerous receivers in the league, but at this point, he’s hardly living up to his status as one of the top five earning receivers. Chiefs quarterback Alex Smith’s game-managing style may hold back Bowe’s deep ball ability, but his questionable motivation and work ethic probably does as well. At this point in time, the Chiefs simply aren’t getting what they paid for in their “star” receiver, but at least he doesn’t make as much as Wallace.

About the Author

Both an avid NFL fan and analyst, I’ve been following professional football since the late 1980s. I’m also an avid fantasy football player with several league victories under my belt. Check out my NFL articles on TSM for the latest NFL news, highlights, predictions, and more.

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