Julio Jones is making the case to be known as the best wide receiver in the NFL with the start he’s had to his 2016 season. He’s largely considered to be among the three best players at his position, and the Atlanta Falcons star is paid as such.
Earning an average of $14.25 million per season, Jones is the league’s third highest-paid wide receiver, per Spotrac. Before the start of the 2015 season, Jones signed a five-year, $71.25 million extension with Atlanta. He received $47 million guaranteed, and his contract runs through the 2020 season.
Jones is often mentioned in the same conversation with Antonio Brown and Odell Beckham Jr. as the NFL’s top receivers. But not only has he outperformed them in 2016 after his 12-reception, 300-yard performance in Week 4, but he also makes more money than both players. Brown ranks 21st among wide receivers with an average of $8.39 million per season. In just his third NFL season, Beckham makes a little over $2.6 million a year.
Jones missed three games in 2011 and 11 more in 2013, but there’s no denying his production when he’s on the field. Before his career day on Sunday, Jones ranked No.1 all-time with 94 receiving yards per game, and he led the NFL with 1,871 receiving yards in 2015. Calvin Johnson is second in NFL history with 86.1 yards per contest.
A.J. Green is one of the NFL’s best receivers with five straight seasons of at least 1,000 yards receiving, and he makes more money than anyone at his position. The Cincinnati Bengals' star agreed to a four-year extension worth $60 million at the start of last season, giving him an average of $15 million a year.
Alshon Jeffery is the only other wide receiver who earns more annually than Jones. He makes $14.59 million this season, playing under the one-year franchise tag.