6:10pm: Austin will receive $28.55MM in injury guarantees, and $25.5MM will be due by March of 2017, Jason La Canfora of CBSSports.com tweets. The new years in the deal average out to $10.5MM, per La Canfora. By that measurement, the 25-year-old Austin will be the league’s 12th-highest-paid receiver. While that hierarchy will certainly change by the time Austin’s new years commence, this provides security for a wideout that has yet to record 500 receiving yards in a season, making the agreement unique.
5:17pm: The deal stands to keep Austin in Los Angeles through the 2021 season, Ian Rapoport of NFL.com tweets. Similar to the Chiefs’ extension for 2013 first-rounder Eric Fisher, the player selected seven spots behind him will see his new contract add four years on top of the two left on his existing rookie pact.
The Rams announced the deal, via Sirius XM Radio (on Twitter).
5:11pm: It’s a four-year, $42MM extension for Austin, Adam Schefter of ESPN.com reports (on Twitter). That agreement comes with $30MM in guarantees, per Schefter, who adds that incentives could elevate this deal to $52MM. The base value of the deal falls in line with those given to wideouts this summer. Allen Hurns, Keenan Allen and Doug Baldwin each signed extensions for four years and between $44-$46MM.
Austin has not delivered a season like the ones his new NFL tax-bracket peers have but serves as his team’s top receiving option and can contribute in more ways than the more traditional targets, thanks to his prowess out of the backfield and in the return game.
5:07pm: One of two players on whom the Rams picked up fifth-year options on this spring, Tavon Austin is expected to sign a contract extension with the team, Aaron Wilson of the Houston Chronicle reports (on Twitter).
The recently relocated franchise will keep its top receiver in Los Angeles for a while. A 2013 first-round pick, Austin recorded career highs in receptions (52), yards from scrimmage (907) and touchdowns (10) last season and saw the Rams trigger his fifth-year option in May. He stood to occupy $12.268MM of the Rams’ 2017 cap as part of that option being exercised. That total represents the seventh-highest among wide receivers for ’17.
Although a 5-foot-9 gadget-type player, Austin serves as an integral part of the Rams’ offense — one that doesn’t have a traditional No. 1 wideout. Now that Jared Goff is in the fold, the team looks to have secured a key target for the No. 1 overall pick going forward. Austin also rushed for 434 yards last season and contributes heavily as a return specialist.
Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.