Jaguars’ Christian Kirk Discusses Contract Affecting WR Market, Cardinals Experience and Future

Many didn’t expect wide receiver Christian Kirk to be one of the main headlines of free agency, but he was. On the first day of the legal tampering period, the former Arizona Cardinals player agreed to the terms on four-year contract worth up to $84 million with the Jacksonville Jaguars. It was a huge contract that financially propelled a promising young man into an elite company.

Kirk’s new average annual value of $18 million put him in the top 10 of the highest-paid receivers at the time, though he never recorded 1,000 yards in any of his four seasons. While Kirk has star potential, that signing was a deal that affected the wide receiver position in a huge way this offseason.

This week, Kirk spoke with CBS Sports. He said he is moving into his new home, preparing for team training and enjoying every second of this new chapter. It would be hard to be disappointed after receiving the kind of contract he did.

“It was great,” Kirk said when asked what it was like putting pen to paper on his new contract. “Just all the hard work and everything I’ve been through, especially in my NFL career. Going out and having a successful year last year and then being rewarded with a second contract was a blessing. As football players, that’s a blessing. thing that we work for, and just being able to extend his career in the NFL has been great. Just excited about the opportunity.”

While Kirk’s contract didn’t “reset” the market itself, it did raise the stakes for all-stars in his position. Davante Adams was traded to the Las Vegas Raiders after he couldn’t agree to a new deal with the only NFL team he’s ever known, which in turn forced Tyreek Hill out of Kansas City and to Miami and now, all eyes are on young receivers ready for new deals like Deebo Samuel, AJ Brown and DK Metcalf. Samuel already requested a negotiation of the San Francisco 49ers.

We asked Kirk if he feels like he was the player who caused all the wide receiver craze this offseason. He responded by saying that this would happen at the wide receiver position, but acknowledged that he was the first domino to fall.

“I know I was one of the first, but for me, the way I see it, it was about to happen,” Kirk said. “The cap changes every year and the market for all positions fluctuates. With the cap going up and with teams with more money to deploy, the wide receiver position specifically to have such a huge impact on the game, you would see guys like Davante Adams and Tyreek Hill and Stefon Diggs get the deals they got. And yes, I was one of the first and people want to say that I rocked the market. But in my opinion, things like that would happen regardless, but it’s definitely good to be able, I think it might give the first step towards the position and sort of advocating for us to be considered one of the highest paid positions in the league.”

Kirk’s former team has also been in the headlines this offseason. Star quarterback Kyler Murray wants a new contract, and he and his team have been aggressive in their pursuit of one. Former Cardinals star, cornerback Patrick Peterson and running back Chase Edmonds until recently predicted on CBS Sports’ “All Things Covered” podcast that Murray would play elsewhere in the future, and discussed the cultural problems of the cardinals. We asked Kirk if it was a difficult decision to leave Arizona and if he had a good experience with the Cardinals.

“I loved every second,” Kirk said. “Arizona is my home, it will be my home forever. The fans, the organization, all my teammates have left a lasting impact on me and my journey. It was definitely difficult, but the opportunity to come here to Jacksonville and play with Coach Pederson and playing with Trevor (Lawrence) and all the great guys that we have in this squad was really very intriguing to me. It felt like a great new opportunity for me to have a fresh start and keep maximizing my potential and go and hopefully win a championship here. “

The pundits have generally been critical of the contract Kirk was given this offseason, and to some extent, Kirk understands what these people are saying. He knows he needs to prove he’s one of the best wide receivers in the NFL, but he also understands that he has that kind of potential.

“For me, and that’s the approach I take each season: I want to be the best player I can be in every game throughout the season, and most importantly, especially now, there’s a lot… Especially when you get a contract of this size. All eyes will be on you, but I’m looking forward to proving my worth and I know I have so much more that I can show and that I can bring especially now that I’m here in Jacksonville.”

Kirk spoke with CBS Sports to promote Rockin’ Protein, a healthy source of high-quality protein for people of all fitness levels. And because it’s real milk, every sip is fresh, smooth and flavorful. Rockin’ Protein is available in a variety of flavors across the country. Find it at your local grocery and convenience stores. Kirk’s partnership with the company has spanned years, and he’s been drinking Rockin’ Protein since even before his high school days..

“We had that every day, after practice, after games,” said Kirk. “It’s a great company and the people behind it and the product have been just amazing. For me, my recovery, I take my recovery very seriously, and Rockin’ Protein provides everything I need for recovery and performance.”

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