Giants WR Odell Beckham Jr. made history when he agreed to a five-year, $95 million contract extension on Monday. The 25-year-old became the highest-paid WR in the league when he signed the deal to stay with the Giants for the long haul. Beckham is just the latest wideout to set the benchmark for the league’s elite wide receivers.
Prior to Beckham’s deal, wideouts like Randy Moss and Larry Fitzgerald signed historic contracts to become the highest-paid WRs in the league. That being said, it’s one thing to earn one huge contract, it’s another to earn multiple and become one of the highest-paid wideouts in league history.
Here are the top five highest-paid wide receivers in NFL history, according to Spotrac.
1. Larry Fitzgerald
Career Earnings: $151 million
Career Accolades: 15,545 receiving yards, 110 receiving TDs, 11x Pro Bowler, 1x First-team All-Pro
Timing is everything. When Larry Fitzgerald entered the league as the No. 3 pick of the 2004 Draft, he signed a six-year, $60 million rookie contract that included $20 million guaranteed. Fitzgerald lived up to the hype, making the Pro Bowl in five of his first seven seasons in the league while averaging 1,172 receiving yards per season.
That kind of production earned Fitzgerald a historic eight-year, $120 million contract in 2011. In 2015, the veteran wide receiver renegotiated his deal to $22 million over two years in order to save Arizona cap space. That being said, as Fitzgerald enters his 15th season, he’s still the all-time cash king of NFL wideouts.
2. Calvin Johnson
Career Earnings: $113.8 million
Career Accolades: 11,619 yards, 83 receiving TDs, 6x Pro Bowler, 3x First-team All-Pro
Before today’s elite wideouts like Antonio Brown and Julio Jones took over the league, Calvin Johnson was regarded as the unrivaled best WR in the NFL. From 2010 to 2015, Megatron averaged a whopping 1,424 receiving yards and 10 receiving TDs per season. Johnson’s record-setting pace earned him an eight-year, $132 million extension in 2012. The deal made him the highest-paid WR in the league. However, just four years after signing the historic deal, Megatron joined the likes of Jim Brown and Barry Sanders by retiring at the age of 30. Even though he walked away in his prime, Johnson is one of only three WRs to make over $100 million in salary.
3. Andre Johnson
Career Earnings: $106 million
Career Accolades: 14,185 receiving yards, 70 receiving TDs, 7x Pro Bowler, 2x First-team All-Pro
The average career length for an NFL WR is less than three years. Johnson took that number and more than quadrupled it. Johnson wasn’t simply “in the league,” but he was a starter into his mid-30s, before retiring at the age of 35 in 2016. The longevity and his consistency caused Johnson to join the nine-figure WR club.
4. Randy Moss
Years: 1998-2010, 2012
Career Earnings: $82 million
Career Accolades: 15,292 receiving yards, 156 receiving TDs, 6x Pro Bowler, 4x First-team All-Pro, Hall of Famer
At his peak, Moss has a solid case for being the most unstoppable wide receiver in NFL history. The 6-foot-4 WR possessed a level of athleticism, speed, and skills never seen in anyone his size. In 1998, Moss immediately put the league on notice by racking up 17 receiving touchdowns in his rookie season; setting a record that still stands today. Freakish production calls for freakish pay and that’s what Moss got in 2001 when the Vikings signed him to an eight-year, $75-million deal. The contract made him the highest-paid non-quarterback at the time.
5. Steve Smith
Career Earnings: $81 million
Career Accolades: 14,731 receiving yards, 81 receiving TDs, 5x Pro Bowler, 2x First-team All-Pro
By now you’ve probably noticed a common combination among the names on this list: elite play, long careers, and great timing. Steve Smith’s 16-year career had all of those traits. Smith produced eight 1,000-yard seasons, and his high production was rewarded in the form of big contracts including a six-year, $45 million deal in 2007.