Christian Kirk Is Playing Up to His Contract (So Far)
This past spring, free agent wide receiver Christian Kirk received a four-year, $72 million deal from the Jacksonville Jaguars that left many scratching their heads. Most initially considered it an overpay. Kirk had been a decent receiver in Arizona, but it seemed like a stretch to pay him like a top-20 receiver in the sport. By AAV, his current contract ranks 18th at his position.
Three weeks into the season, Kirk seems to be playing up to his lofty contract. He is top-10 in receiving yards and is averaging a touchdown per game. Kirk is also just back of the NFL lead for receptions of 20+ yards. It’s early, but the production is certainly where the Jaguars want to see it.
This may be a “chicken or the egg” situation. Perhaps the contract was predictive of the value Jacksonville thought they could get from Kirk. On the other hand, the large contract may have the organization making sure to feed him the ball to justify their spending. In either case, Christian Kirk is producing. The growth of Trevor Lawrence in his second full season is certainly another factor at play, as is replacing Urban Meyer with a less problematic head coach in Doug Pederson.
Kirk was a receiver I had my eye on late into my fantasy drafts. As a pretty clear WR1 with a blossoming young quarterback and a contract the organization would probably want to justify, he seemed like a fantasy steal at his ADP. Unfortunately he was selected one pick before I was set to take him in both drafts. He is top-five receiver in fantasy points right now. You hate to see it.
Should Trevor Lawrence’s development continue, Christian Kirk will be a major benefactor. That’s something that will have the brass in Jacksonville getting the last laugh after many questioned the contract they gave him.
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