clock menu more-arrow no yes mobile

Filed under:

Is Offensive Player of the Year Cooper Kupp the Most VALUABLE wide receiver in the NFL?

If we ranked every wide receiver by how much they would return in a trade or on a contract, where would Kupp land?

Super Bowl LVI - Los Angele Rams v Cincinnati Bengals Photo by Focus on Sport/Getty Images

Cooper Kupp won the NFL’s Offensive Player of the Year award in 2021. Kupp received one vote for MVP, which is one more than most players who have ever played the position in the NFL. He had 22 more catches than second-place Davante Adams, 331 more yards than second-place Justin Jefferson, and two more touchdowns than second-place Mike Evans.

So if NFL general managers got together and privately ranked which wide receivers they most coveted at that given time — age, athleticism, health, current contract details, production, character, football IQ, toughness, everything — where would Cooper Kupp fall on the list?

If the answer isn’t number one, then why isn’t it number one?

Should Kupp rank ahead of Ja’Marr Chase, even though Chase was expected to be an NFL star and then immediately exceeded expectations and plays on a rookie deal?

Should Kupp rank ahead of Jefferson for the same reasons?

Should Kupp rank ahead of Adams, who was traded for a first and second round pick, then signed a deal that pays him $60 million in the first three years with the Raiders?

Should Kupp rank ahead of Tyreek Hill, who was traded to the Miami Dolphins on Wednesday for a late first round pick, plus a second, two fourths and a sixth before signing a deal that pays him similarly to Adams? With $72.2 million guaranteed.

Cooper Kupp finds himself in the unusual position of being a potential “wide receiver Tom Brady” for the L.A. Rams if he decides to play on his current NFL contract. While most people only focus on how quarterback contracts can save a team money, the exact same sentiment is true for players who play other positions too.

A dollar is a dollar and the cap space doesn’t care what position you play.

It is in part because Kupp is set to be the NFL’s 15th-highest paid wide receiver that the team can even entertain signing Bobby Wagner and extending Matthew Stafford. And it is hardly Kupp’s fault that the team decided to trade Robert Woods to save cap space.

Kupp is now making just $250,000 more per year than new teammate Allen Robinson.

It was only two years ago that Kupp signed a four-year, $47.25 million deal with the Rams, but those contract details have been smothered by bigger deals time and time again. Kupp now makes less than Mike Williams, Amari Cooper, Chris Godwin, Christian Kirk, Kenny Golladay, Brandin Cooks, and Adam Thielen.

Kupp is set to make a $14.875 million base salary in 2022, almost all of which is guaranteed. He has about the same salary in 2023, but none of it is guaranteed.

Hopkins, Adams, Hill, and Michael Thomas carry at least a $28 million cap hit in 2023. That’s almost two Cooper Kupps.

If Cooper Kupp were to ask for a new contract right now, what could he reasonably ask for?

If a team called and had to say the trade package that would convince Les Snead to trade Kupp, where would that GM even begin?

I know that not everybody believes that Kupp is the best receiver in the NFL. But if he isn’t, why isn’t he? Who are the top five most valuable wide receivers in the NFL today?