Wide receiver has always been one of the more glamorous positions in the NFL. Typically, wide receivers demand enormous amounts of attention on the field and off, are highly-paid and have colourful personalities. A quick youtube search of “NFL touchdown celebrations” will reveal a flair for performance from these players that is unmatched in much of professional sports. But more than that, as the NFL has increasingly become more of a passing league, having quality WRs can be the difference between an average offense and an elite one.
As the torch is passed from the last generation of great WRs like Randy Moss and Terrell Owens, new ones have emerged to take their place. Although a large part of a wide receiver’s production lies in his relationship with his team’s quarterback, truly great WRs find a way to make catches and score touchdowns regardless of who’s throwing the ball. This list will comprise the top 10 highest-paid wide receivers in the league this year in terms of their average salaries.
10. DeSean Jackson – Philadelphia Eagles – $9.4 Million
The diminutive wide receiver has become a key playmaker for the Eagles ever since he was drafted in the second round in 2008. Due to injuries to other WRs, DeSean Jackson was thrust into the starting role in his rookie year and was largely successful, breaking rookie team records for receiving yards and receptions. The only blemish on his rookie year was his unforgettable blunder on Monday Night Football versus the Dallas Cowboys where he famously dropped the ball before running into the end zone. Fumbles are normal in the NFL, but Jackson was running all alone and seemed more interested in celebrating than ensuring he had scored.
Apart from that, Jackson has been a threat in both the receiving and the punt-return game for the Eagles. Things were rocky between him and the team in 2010 as he publicly voiced his displeasure about his contract. In 2011, he chose not to report to training camp to demonstrate his frustration with his expiring contract situation. In 2012, when Jackson was finally set to become a free agent, the Eagles placed the franchise tag on him, finally giving him the contract he desired, with $51 million over five years. Jackson is a two-time Pro Bowler who has the chance to take it to the house every time he touches the ball and is deserving of the contract he finally received.