This time last year, Davante Adams, DeAndre Hopkins or Stefon Diggs probably would have been the odds on favorites to produce the greatest NFL season ever for a wide receiver in 2021. Instead, Cooper Kupp trumped them all.

Kupp nearly broke the single-season record for receptions and receiving yards as he established a great rapport with quarterback Matthew Stafford, who was acquired by the Rams from the Lions via trade in March 2021. His 145 receptions and 1,947 receiving yards are both second on the single-season list. Kupp also topped the NFL with 16 receiving touchdowns. He became the first player to win the receiving triple crown since Steve Smith in 2005 by simultaneously leading the league in receptions, receiving yards and receiving touchdowns.

Kupp was named 2021's NFL Offensive Player of the Year because of his efforts. It was just the second time since 1993 that a wide receiver won the award.

Kupp raised his game during the Rams' playoff run. In four postseason games, Kupp caught 33 passes for 478 years with six touchdowns. He earned Super Bowl LVI MVP honors after catching the game-winning touchdown pass with just 1:25 left to play. Over a 17-game season, these numbers project to 140 catches, 2,032 receiving yards and 26 touchdown receptions.

Nobody has ever won the receiving triple crown, NFL Offensive Player of the Year and Super Bowl MVP in the same season. Jerry Rice, who is widely considered as the greatest wide receiver of all time, is the only other player to accomplish these feats during an NFL career.

Kupp's historic season has coincided with the wide receiver market going haywire, which has left him underpaid. He signed a three-year, $47.25 million extension (worth a maximum of $49.5 million through salary escalators) averaging $15.75 million per year in 2020.

Not too long ago, the $20 million-per-year mark was the Holy Grail for wide receivers. That isn't the case anymore. It's beginning to become a common occurrence.

There were four $20 million-per-year wideouts (Keenan Allen, Amari Cooper, Hopkins and Julio Jones) when the offseason began. Ten wide receivers have hit the mark even with the Titans releasing Jones. The number will continue to grow before the 2022 regular season starts because 2019 draftees Terry McLaurin (Commanders), DK Metcalf (Seahawks) and Deebo Samuel (49ers) are in contract years.

The Chargers got the ball rolling by signing Mike Williams to a three-year, $60 million contract with $40 million fully guaranteed before the March 8 deadline teams had to designate franchise players. Williams' deal makes the Chargers the only NFL team with two $20 million-per-year wideouts. Allen signed a four-year contract extension averaging $20.025 million per year with $50 million of guarantees during the 2020 preseason.

The Buccaneers struck next with Chris Godwin. Conventional wisdom suggested Godwin would hit the open market when he tore the ACL and MCL in his right knee late in the 2021 regular season but he was franchised for a second straight year at $19.18 million this time around. He signed a nearly identical three-year, $60 million deal to Williams' shortly after quarterback Tom Brady unretired.