The 2022 NFL season still has one game remaining, but disrespect season is apparently in full swing.
Jacksonville Jaguars wide receiver Christian Kirk is the latest competitor to take that stage, telling Kay Adams of “Up & Adams” that he feels he's not getting the attention he deserves after a strong campaign with his new team.
"Well, it's funny because I still feel like I don't get the respect that I deserve, and it's kind of been that way," Kirk said. "And, you know, with all the noise and after I signed my deal this offseason, it was, you know, it was the loudest."
The Jaguars signed Kirk to a four-year deal worth $72 million, including $37 million guaranteed, and there were plenty of doubters. Combine that with Zay Jones' three-year deal worth $24 million, and the Jaguars became something of an early free-agency laughingstock.
All Kirk did was establish personal bests in receptions (84), receiving yards (1,108) and touchdowns (eight), playing every game and helping the Jaguars to an AFC South crown and a rousing comeback playoff victory. Those receiving numbers placed him 18th in catches, 14th in yards and tied for 11th in TD receptions in the league, respectively.
Kirk caught TDs in both of Jacksonville's playoff games, and now he's enjoying letting people know about his success.
"Now, you know, especially with the season that I had … it started getting real quiet," Kirk said, "and everybody kind of, you know, kind of hushed a little bit. But I just, I want my respect, you know. I feel like I'm one of the best receivers in the NFL. And that's the way I play. That's the chip that I carry on my shoulder and I'm gonna keep earning it."
The Jaguars likely are hoping Kirk continues to feel disrespected. If he uses it to fuel his 2023 performance, they might already have received ample return on their investment if that turns out to be the case.