Jaguars’ Christian Kirk signing changes NFL free agency WR market


The Jaguars simply made loads of groups indignant, and Christian Kirk simply made loads of higher huge receivers richer.

As a part of a wild spending spree to usher in a brand new period, the Jaguars gave essentially the most eye-popping contract of the primary day of NFL free agency to a receiver who hasn’t reached 1,000 yards in any of his first 4 seasons: Kirk reportedly agreed to a four-year contract value as much as $84 million.

Even when decreased to its base worth of $72 million, Kirk’s deal — together with $39 million over the primary two years, per NFL Network — is a game-changer. His $18 million per yr annual wage is tied for the ninth-highest within the league with the Giants’ Kenny Golladay and Chiefs’ Tyreek Hill. The greater contracts belong to future Hall of Famers like Julio Jones, perennial Pro Bowlers like Keenan Allen and DeAndre Hopkins, and the lately franchise-tagged Davante Adams and Chris Godwin.

“A major overpay” is how one NFL government described Kirk’s contract to The Post.

Christian Kirk (13) catches a pass for a first down as Cowboys cornerback Jourdan Lewis (26) defends during the second half of a game Sunday, Jan. 2, 2022, in Arlington, Texas.
Christian Kirk
AP/Michael Ainsworth

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In all, the Jaguars agreed with 5 gamers whose max-value offers doubtless will likely be north of $200 million: Kirk, five-time Pro Bowl guard Brandon Scherff (phrases not reported), former Jets defensive sort out Foley Fatukaski (three years, $30 million), linebacker Foye Oluokun (three years, $45 million) and former Giants tight finish Evan Engram (one yr, $9 million).

One yr in the past, because the Patriots went on a $300 million free-agent spending spree although the Jaguars had essentially the most wage cap area within the NFL, Jacksonville’s strategy was extra conservative. But head coach Doug Pederson’s arrival and the necessity to encompass quarterback Trevor Lawrence with expertise after a disappointing rookie season has led to extra aggressive considering inside the group, in response to a league supply.

Adams, who knowledgeable the Packers that he won’t play on the franchise tag, and Godwin are maybe the most important ripple-effect winners from the 25-year-old Kirk’s deal. Kirk averaged 12.3 yards per catch with 17 whole touchdowns in 4 years with the Cardinals, enjoying with both DeAndre Hopkins, Larry Fitzgerald or generally each to divert defensive consideration. He set profession highs with 77 catches for 982 yards in 2021.

Adams, 29, basically laughs at these numbers. His common season over the previous 4 years enjoying with Aaron Rodgers is 108 catches for 1,327 yards and almost 12 touchdowns. It received’t be loopy now for him to ask to high Hopkins’ market-leading $27.5 million per yr with the Cardinals.

Godwin, 26, is coming off a torn ACL however he additionally has had a extra productive begin to his profession than Kirk. And there’s a gaggle of younger receivers eligible for contract extensions for the primary time and coming into the ultimate yr of their contracts — led by the 49ers’ Deebo Samuel, Titans’ A.J. Brown, Seahawks’ DK Metcalf and Commanders’ Terry McLaurin — who quickly can have brokers arguing for “Kirk money.”

Three-time Pro Bowler Allen Robinson, 28, has three 1,100 receiving seasons and was seen by some groups as the highest receiver out there regardless of coming off a down season. But he might wrestle to match Kirk’s deal except this transfer is the start of a widespread market correction.

Davante Adams acknowledges the crowd after a game against the Vikings Sunday, Jan. 2, 2022, in Green Bay, Wis.
Davante Adams
AP/Matt Ludtke

With few exceptions — Golladay’s contract, for instance — receivers have seen a depressed free-agent market over the previous two years due to the wealth of cheaper, immediate-impact expertise popping out of faculty offenses.

“It’s a great wide receiver draft,” NFL Network analyst Daniel Jeremiah stated earlier than the scouting mix. “I feel like we could copy and paste the comments on wide receivers and use it for the next 20 years, because the college game is giving us a ton of these guys every year.”

What would possibly Jacksonville have been considering to splurge on Kirk?

“He’s a good player with potential to be a strong No. 2 receiver,” stated one other league supply, including that the Jaguars don’t have a receiver with Kirk’s versatility or pace.

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