Most Overpaid Wide Receivers in the NFL

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New York Giants wide receiver Kenny Golladay (19) makes a catch against the Washington Football Team during an NFL football game, Sunday, Jan. 9, 2022, in East Rutherford, N.J.
(AP Photo/Adam Hunger)
Colton Pool @CPoolReporter Aug 10, 2022, 1:33 PM

Some NFL teams, including those with the worst Super Bowl odds, can’t find viable solutions at wide receiver no matter how much they spend.

Here’s a look at some of the most overpaid wide receivers in the NFL.

NFL Wide Receiver Spending

The New York Giants, who have the lowest NFL odds to win the NFC East at +650, have the largest wide receiver cap hit in the league. According to Spotrac, their cap spending for the position is $42.5 million in 2022.

TeamWR Cap MoneyTotal

Most Underpaid and Overpaid NFL Players

Overpaid Quarterbacks | Underpaid Quarterbacks | Overpaid Running Backs | Underpaid Running Backs | Underpaid Wide Receivers | Overpaid Offensive Linemen | Underpaid Offensive Linemen | Overpaid Defensive Linemen | Underpaid Defensive Linemen | Overpaid Linebackers | Underpaid Linebackers | Overpaid Defensive Backs | Underpaid Defensive Backs

Most Overpaid Wide Receiver Groups

New York Giants

The Giants’ handling of their wide receiver spending, as 21% of their total cap goes toward the position group, went overboard for one player in particular. 

Kenny Golladay has the largest cap hit for any wideout in 2022 at $21.2 million. The former Lions receiver who showed flashes of potential in Detroit signed a four-year, $72 million deal with $40 million guaranteed before the 2021 season. He was 84th in DVOA and DYAR, value metrics from Football Outsiders.

Sterling Shepard ($6.3 million), Kadarius Toney ($3.1 million) and Darius Slayton ($2.6 million) have the next-highest cap hits for the Giants. None of them were better than 70th in DYAR or DVOA last season.

New England Patriots

The Patriots actually had a fairly efficient air attack last season as they were 10th in passing DVOA. But they spend too much on those they have on the roster as they have the third-highest cap hit at the position at $38 million, 18% of the team’s total cap.

For starters, Nelson Agholor has the fifth-highest cap hit at his position at $14.9 million in 2022. He was 62nd in DYAR and 57th in DVOA last season.

Kendrick Bourne has the next-highest cap hit for New England wideouts at $6.4 million. He caught 55 passes for 800 yards and five touchdowns on his way to becoming the No. 1 receiver according to DVOA and 14th by DYAR.

Jakobi Meyers, New England’s leading receiver with 866 yards, 83 catches and two touchdowns in 2021, wasn’t as efficient. He was 70th in DYAR and 72nd in DVOA. He’ll have the fourth-highest cap hit in this position group at $4 million.

This offseason, the Patriots added DeVante Parker to their receiving corps. And while he caught 40 passes for 515 yards and two touchdowns in 10 games played with the Dolphins last season, the Patriots signed him to a four-year, $30.5 million deal.

The Patriots also have the most overpaid tight ends. Their cap hit at the position will be $31.8 million, 15% of the team’s cap. That’s $11 million more than the Dolphins, the next highest team, at $19.5 million. That’s also $20 million more than the league average ($11.2 million).

Hunter Henry and Jonnu Smith have the two highest cap hits in the league at  their position. Henry caught 50 passes for 603 yards and a team-high nine touchdowns, but was the 14th-highest graded tight end by Pro Football Focus. Smith carries a $13.7 million cap hit and totaled just 294 yards and one touchdown on 28 receptions.

Jacksonville Jaguars

The Jaguars haven’t seen the results needed to warrant spending as much as they do on wide receivers. They have the fourth-highest cap hit at the position with $34.4 million, 15% of the team’s total cap.

The Jaguars have six receivers with a cap hit of $1 million or more. Marvin Jones is the leader among them with an $8.7 million cap hit. While he led the team with 832 yards and four touchdowns on 73 receptions, he was 60th in DYAR and 64th in DVOA last season.

Christian Kirk has the team’s next largest cap hit at the position ($7.5 million) after signing a four-year, $72 million contract this offseason. And while he had an impressive 2021 (eighth in DVOA, ninth in DYAR and 20th with 1,069 effective yards), that’s still too much to cough up.

Jamal Agnew ($5.5 million), Zay Jones ($4.3 million), Laviska Shenault ($2.1 million) and Laquon Treadwell ($1 million) all factor into the Jaguars’ spending, and none were better than 35th in DYAR or DVOA last year.

The Jaguars also overpay for tight ends. Their cap hit for the position is $19.5 million, third in the league. Evan Engram, who wasn’t in the top 50 for his position in DVOA or DYAR last season, has the sixth-highest cap hit for tight ends in the NFL at $8.9 million.

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About the Author

Colton Pool

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Colton Pool is a Web Content Writer for BetMGM living in Bozeman, Montana, focusing on the NFL and NBA. Previously, he covered Montana State football at the Bozeman Daily Chronicle and worked at newspapers in his home state of North Dakota. He graduated from North Dakota State in 2015.

Colton Pool is a Web Content Writer for BetMGM living in Bozeman, Montana, focusing on the NFL and NBA. Previously, he covered Montana State football at the Bozeman Daily Chronicle and worked at newspapers in his home state of North Dakota. He graduated from North Dakota State in 2015.