It is a good time to be a top ranking wide receiver in the NFL, especially one coming to the end of a contract.
That’s because Stefon Diggs has become the latest wideout to seal a big money contract this off-season after agreeing a four-year $96 Million contract extension with the Buffalo Bills.
Furthermore, Diggs can increase the value of that contract by achieving a number of incentives.
Diggs will receive $21.5 million as a signing bonus, plus $70 million in guarantees as part of the new deal, which will keep him in Buffalo for the next six seasons.
The contract is the latest mega-money deal signed by a top ranking wide receiver in the last few weeks.
Receivers Getting Paid Big Money
First up we had Davante Adams being traded to the Las Vegas Raiders from the Green
KANSAS CITY, MISSOURI – JANUARY 23: Stefon Diggs #14 of the Buffalo Bills catches the two point conversion against Anthony Hitchens #53 of the Kansas City Chiefs during the fourth quarter in the AFC Divisional Playoff game at Arrowhead Stadium on January 23, 2022 in Kansas City, Missouri. (Photo by David Eulitt/Getty Images)
Bay Packers and signing a 5-year, $141.25 million contract with his new team.
Then we had arguably one of the most unexpected deals of the year so far as after signing offensive lineman Terron Armstead from free agency, the Miami Dolphins then snapped up Kansas City Chiefs wide receiver Tyreek Hill by offering the former Chiefs wideout a 3-year $75 million extension to his current deal.
The Dolphins gave up first, second and fourth round picks to the Chiefs in the 2022 draft, as well as fourth and sixth round picks in the 2023 draft.
The fact that Adams, Diggs and Hill have all signed huge contract extensions is indicative of how important quality receivers are in what is becoming a pass-dominant league for most teams.
Earned His Payday
There is no doubt that Diggs has earned his payday. The Bills star has recorded at least 1000 yards receiving in each of the last four seasons.
Since joining the Bills, he has caught 230 catches for 2,760 yards in total and has become quarterback Josh Allen’s goto guy as part of the explosive Buffalo offense.
However, Diggs value goes beyond his ability to make catches and score touchdowns. He is a legitimate threat in zone and man coverage who will always attract defenders to him.
And as the coverage on defense moves towards Diggs, that opens up space for other Bills receivers to capitalise on the one-to-one coverage they are afforded.
Diggs is as fundamental part of the Bills offense as any other offensive player, even quarterback Josh Allen and this move to keep him in Buffalo for the best years of his career looks like a wise move.
Part of The Buffalo Super Bowl Push?
Before news of this deal broke, the Bills were already one of the hot favorites to win the Super Bowl next year along with the likes of the Tampa Bay Buccaneers and Green Bay Packers.
The reason for that is not just signing up their talent to long-term contracts as they have with Diggs and center Mitch Morse, but they have also brought in quality free agents including Von Miller, DaQuan Jones, O.J.Howard, Jamison Crowder and Duke Johnson.
Given that the Bills denied a chance to compete in the AFC Championship game by conceding a touchdown in overtime against the Chiefs on the opening possession, the strengthening of the team does make it clear that Buffalo view next season as their best opportunity for Super Bowl glory in many years.
Other Wide Receivers Set To Be Paid?
The deals for Adams, Hill and Diggs have also set the bar at a higher level for a number of other star wide receivers who will be entering into contract discussions with their team over the next 6-12 months.
The likes of the Los Angeles Rams Cooper Kupp, the Tennessee Titans A.J.Brown, the Seattle Seahawks D.K. Metcalf and the San Francisco 49ers Deebo Samuel are all receivers that are likely to benefit from the buoyant market for their position.
Nine receivers are now averaging $20 million a year, and eight have more than $50 million guaranteed and there may well be at least four names added to that number over the coming twelve months.
For a while now quarterbacks and edge rushers were the players earning the biggest contracts in the NFL.
Now it seems wide receivers are catching a bit more of that cash.
FEATURED IMAGE – FOXBOROUGH, MASSACHUSETTS – DECEMBER 26: Stefon Diggs #14 of the Buffalo Bills leaves the field after the win over the New England Patriots at Gillette Stadium on December 26, 2021 in Foxborough, Massachusetts. (Photo by Omar Rawlings/Getty Images)