Christian Kirk had a career year in 2021 and immediately got paid afterward. Kirk left the Arizona Cardinals after the 2021 season in free agency to join the Jacksonville Jaguars. They wanted a WR1, and he was arguably the best wide receiver on the open market. He received a market-shifting contract, too, that completely changed the entire WR contract landscape. He received a 4-year deal worth $72 million but could get up to $84 million. The 25-year-old will have a hefty amount of pressure on his shoulders to prove he’s worth that deal. And to prove he can be the WR1 for Trevor Lawrence.
2021 in Review
Kirk had a career year in 2021 with the Arizona Cardinals. It’s partially due to how much time DeAndre Hopkins missed due to injury. It also helps that the Cardinals had a great offense for the first 3/4 of the season. Once Nuk went down, Kirk didn’t have much competition for targets from AJ Green and Rondale Moore. This allowed Kirk to explode, at least in terms of his stats.
Kirk recorded 77 receptions on 103 targets for 982 yards and five touchdowns. He added 11 yards on the ground too. He appeared in all 17 games for the first time in his career. Kirk had a strong year that parlayed into his big-money deal. The Cardinals will miss him.
2022 Season Projections
Kirk enters 2022 with a massive amount of expectations. You don’t get that kind of deal and be expected to put up an under-1,000-yard season or be an average WR. Granted, the Jaguars have an offense rebuilding after former Coach Urban Meyer destroyed it. Lawrence has to undo the damage done, and so do the rest of the Jaguars. The Jaguars will likely run the ball a bit more in a new offense with Coach Doug Pederson. They should be in games more, too, which increases their rushing.
The Jaguars have a large assortment of pass-catchers like Laviska Shenault, Marvin Jones, Zay Jones, Evan Engram, Dan Arnold, and Travis Etienne. Due to that, Kirk’s targets and workload are partially capped. However, he still should be a WR3 for the 2022 season. I have him averaging 13+ PPR points per game. This is a fine number for your WR3 on a contending team. Below are my projections for his season.
Buy/Sell Christian Kirk
Kirk is a player that could work for both rebuilding and contending teams. He’s only 25 and entering a rebuilding offense. Due to that, his potential to explode for points is capped. However, in maybe two to three years, that could change. It will change. If you can manage the expectations during that time, you might get a high-end WR2 out of Kirk as a rebuilder. Or he will be worth more than a second like right now than in-season as contenders get injuries and need replacements.
The same goes if you are contending. He’s a terrific WR4 on your squad. He’s a playoff-worthy WR3. Acquiring him now for cheap will save you valuable picks/resources to spend later. He can start bye weeks, provide coverage for injuries, and maybe even win you a week or two. That’s pretty good for a flex/WR3 caliber player. Depth wins championships just as much as huge stars do.
Kirk is the new WR1 for the Jacksonville Jaguars. He will be relied upon to lift this offense. Kirk must prove he was worth that contract. It’d be smart to take a flier on Kirk in a rising offense. He’s a valuable WR3/flex player for a contending team. He’s an even better WR1 for a rebuilding team that wants to tank. His value will rise in season. Always sell when the price is high. Buy when it’s low. Right now, Kirk’s price is pretty low. Look for Kirk to impress the Jaguars this season en route to a career season.
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As always, May the Force be with You…