8. Lee Evans
Career earnings: $38,694,742
Lee Evans is arguably the best receiver to come out of the Wisconsin football program. He is the team’s all-time leader in receiving yards (3,468) and receiving touchdowns (27). He played in just three seasons for the Badgers, missing the 2002 season after suffering a knee injury in the spring game.
After his historic career at Wisconsin, Evans was taken in the first round (13th overall) in the 2004 NFL Draft by the Buffalo Bills. In his rookie season, he had 843 receiving yards and nine touchdowns, tied for the 11-most in the league.
Evans had some big games while he was in Buffalo. In a game against the Texans in 2006, Evans set the Bills’ record for receiving yards in one quarter with 208 and in a game with 265. In the same game, he became the first person in league history to record multiple 80-yard touchdown receptions in one quarter. He caught two 83-yard touchdowns against the Texans in the first quarter of that game.
Despite playing in just seven seasons in Buffalo, Evans had quite the career with the Bills. He ended his time in Buffalo with 377 receptions, 5,934 yards, and 43 receiving touchdowns. He has the third-most receiving yards and touchdowns in Bills history and is fourth in receptions.
In 2011, Evans was traded to the Baltimore Ravens for a 4th-round pick in the 2012 NFL Draft. His lone year in Baltimore was disappointing. He missed a good chunk of the year with injuries, playing in just nine games. He finished the season with just four catches and 74 yards.
He signed a deal with the Jaguars for the 2012 season but was released before the season started and he retired afterward.
Evans is currently number 62 among the highest-paid receivers in NFL history.