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Tyreek Hill and Davante Adams: Steak or Sizzle?



There is nothing better than a good medium cooked steak. That steak that you bite into and you feel like you are in heaven for a brief minute. It is worth paying a hefty price to be in heaven while you eat.


While on the opposite end, there is nothing worse than paying for a heavenly steak and biting into hell. When an NFL team goes after the big time receiver, are they getting that heaven like steak or paying that price for a steak that doesn't measure up ?


This NFL off-season has been one for the ages as we have seen several big name players change teams including two of the best wide receivers in the league, Tyreek Hill and Davante Adams. Hill was traded from the Kansas City Chiefs to the Miami Dolphins and Adams was traded from the Green Bay Packers to the Las Vegas Raiders.


The Dolphins gave up five draft picks to get Tyreek Hill. Those picks are 1st, 2nd, and 4th round picks in this upcoming draft along with 4th and 6th round picks in the 2023 draft. Hill now also has the biggest contract for a wide receiver, four years, 120 million dollars, including 72 million guaranteed. In the words of Chris Rock, "Good lord! That's a lot money." That is a lot to give up for a wide receiver.


The Raiders gave up their 1st and 2nd round picks in this year's draft to get Davante Adams and also gave Adams a new contract, five years, 140 million dollars, including 65 million guaranteed. This made him the highest paid receiver in the NFL, for about a week. Hill's contract is worth more per year.


Miami and Las Vegas both put their money and picks where their mouth is. Will this lead to winning for the Dolphins and Raiders? That's the big question. So let's look at the teams who had the wide receivers whose contracts counted for the most against the cap per year and how those teams performed in those seasons since 2000. Salary cap numbers from overthecap.com .

Team and Year

Wide Receiver

Money player made against the salary cap

Team's results

49ers, 2000

Jerry Rice

4.5 million

6-10, missed playoffs

Colts, 2001

Marvin Harrison

2.9 million

6-10, missed playoffs

Broncos, 2002

Ed McCaffrey

3.8 million

9-7, missed playoffs

Vikings, 2003

Randy Moss

7.8 million

9-7, missed playoffs

Vikings, 2004

Randy Moss

8.8 million

8-8, missed playoffs

Broncos, 2005

Rod Smith

5.5 million

13-3, Lost AFC Championship Game

Texans, 2006

Andre Johnson

9.7 million

6-10, missed playoffs

Colts, 2007

Marvin Harrison

8.4 million

13-3, Lost Divisional Rd

Colts, 2008

Marvin Harrison

12 million

12-4, Lost Wild Card Rd

Cardinals, 2009

Larry Fitzgerald

10.8 million

10-6, Lost Divisional Rd

​Cowboys, 2010

Miles Austin

17 million

​6-10, missed playoffs

Cardinals, 2011

Larry Fitzgerald

19.2 million

8-8, missed playoffs

Bucs, 2012

Vincent Jackson

15.4 million

7-9, missed playoffs

Texans, 2013

Andre Johnson

10.7 million

2-14, missed playoffs

Dolphins, 2014

Mike Wallace

17.2 million

8-8, missed playoffs

Lions, 2015

Calvin Johnson

20.5 million

7-9, missed playoffs

Falcons, 2016

Julio Jones

15.9 million

11-5, Lost Superbowl

Texans, 2017

DeAndre Hopkins

18 million

4-12, missed playoffs

Bucs, 2018

Mike Evans

18.2 million

5-11, missed playoffs

Chiefs, 2019

Sammy Watkins

19.2 million

12-4, Won Superbowl

Falcons, 2020

Julio Jones

20.4 million

4-12, missed playoffs

Cowboys, 2021

Amari Cooper

22 million

12-5, Lost Wildcard Rd

In the last 22 seasons, only seven teams who had the highest paid receiver in the league, made the playoffs, two made it to the Superbowl, and only one won the championship. So will the Dolphins and Raiders change this trend or did they make a mistake giving up so much for and paying so much to an elite receiver. It is projected that the Giants will have the wide receiver that will count the most against the salary cap in 2022, Kenny Golladay, at 21.5 million. There are no guarantees, the Giants might make a huge jump next year but nothing points to that being the case.


If these are the results for the teams that had the highest paid receivers. Why is it accepted by fans and pundits that receivers should get paid this much? While any time running backs get big contracts, its looked down upon, as if the team just made the dumbest move of all time. That doesn't make much sense at first look.


General managers should definitely have a cause to pause before going after the big time wide receiver. History shows us that its more sizzle than it is steak. The sizzle only matters if the steak is good.

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