Antonio Brown is the best wide receiver in the game today, and has been for the past few seasons. No player has more receiving yards since the start of 2013 than Brown, and it’s not even close. He’s racked up 5,031 yards in that span, with the next closest being Demaryius Thomas’ 4,353. With that sort of production, one would assume he’d be among the highest-paid receivers in the game. That’s not the case. Brown’s annual salary of $8.39 million is just the19th-highest in the NFL for a receiver. Brown, while he’s been mum about his contract situation, hopes to get a new deal before the season starts -- one that should pay him what he deserves. Until then, these receivers somehow make more than Brown annually.
Getty ImagesJared Wickerham
Michael Crabtree, Oakland Raiders: $8.5 million
Since 2013, Crabtree has just 1,904 yards receiving and 14 touchdowns -- and 922 of those yards came in 2015 alone. By comparison, Brown had 1,834 yards and 10 touchdowns last season, essentially matching Crabtree’s three-year output in one 16-game span. Crabtree just signed his four-year, $34 million extension in December after putting together a strong first half with the Raiders, but there’s no question Brown deserves more than Crabtree’s salary and is probably worth double that.
Christopher Hanewinckel-USA TODAChristopher Hanewinckel
Pierre Garcon, Washington Redskins: $8.5 million
Pierre Garcon has had exactly one 1,000-yard receiving season in his career. That came in 2013 when he had 1,346 yards on 113 catches. In 32 games since then, he’s had 1,529 yards and just nine touchdowns -- both of which Brown surpassed in 2015 alone. Garcon is a solid receiver, but he’s not an elite No. 1 option. It’s hard to believe he’s among the 20 highest-paid receivers in the league.
Geoff Burke-USA TODAY SportsGeoff Burke
Randall Cobb, Green Bay Packers: $10 million
Due to the crushing injury to Jordy Nelson last season, Randall Cobb was given a huge opportunity to prove that he can be a true No. 1 receiver. He failed to capitalize on the chance and showed that he isn’t a reliable, go-to target for Aaron Rodgers. Sure, he’s a nice weapon to have on offense, but he isn’t worth the $10 million a year that the Packers are paying him.
Getty ImagesHannah Foslien
Allen Hurns, Jacksonville Jaguars: $10.16 million
Allen Hurns was rewarded this offseason when the Jaguars inked the former undrafted rookie to a lucrative four-year deal. His base salary is just over $10 million per year, and it’s well deserved. He was great in 2015, catching 64 passes for 1,031 yards and 10 touchdowns. A combination of him and Allen Robinson is one that no opposing defense wants to face, and it’s a duo that will only help Blake Bortles’ development.
Getty ImagesAlan Crowhurst
Doug Baldwin, Seattle Seahawks: $11.5 million
One of the key deals to get done this offseason was the one that the Seahawks and Doug Baldwin inked. Baldwin emerged as a No. 1 receiver for Russell Wilson last season, particularly after Marshawn Lynch went down for the year. Wilson hasn’t had the best receiving corps in Seattle throughout his career, but it’s clear Baldwin can be that go-to guy both on the outside and in the slot. His 14 touchdowns last season were tied for the league lead.
Getty ImagesPatrick Smith
T.Y. Hilton, Indianapolis Colts: $13 million
Since 2013, T.Y. Hilton has the sixth-most yards in the league by a receiver. He’s missed just one game in that span and has hauled in 17 touchdowns. His production dropped off significantly last season without Andrew Luck, with Hilton catching just 69 passes for 1,124 yards and five touchdowns. All of those numbers were down from his 2014 season, which is understandable. It’s not that Hilton isn’t deserving of $13 million per season, because he is. He just isn’t the sixth-best receiver in the league, which is how he’s being paid.