Cooper Kupp

Rams Considering Shutting Down Aaron Donald, Matthew Stafford, Cooper Kupp

NOVEMBER 30: Week 13 will double as Donald’s first missed NFL game due to injury. The Rams ruled out the seven-time All-Pro defensive tackle for their Seahawks matchup. McVay also confirmed Stafford remains in concussion protocol and is unlikely to play against Seattle.

NOVEMBER 29: Aaron Donald can now be added to the list of high-profile Rams to have suffered significant injuries this season. Sean McVay said the team’s medical staff communicated to him the perennial All-Pro defensive lineman likely sustained a high ankle sprain against the Chiefs, Jourdan Rodrigue of The Athletic tweets.

Considering this immense letdown of a season, Donald is not a lock to return this year. McVay said the team has not ruled out shutting down Donald, Cooper Kupp or Matthew Stafford. The defending Super Bowl champions gave new deals to all three players this offseason, and while the team will not exactly be obtaining value from those lucrative accords by sidelining the cornerstone performers, ensuring these health issues do not bleed into the offseason would stand to be important.

Although Kupp and Stafford have missed stretches of seasons before, Donald has been one of the league’s most durable players. The seven-time All-Pro has never missed a game due to injury; his only absences (two) came because of a 2017 holdout. Over the course of his second Rams contract, Donald became one of the greatest defenders in NFL history. He derailed the Bengals’ final drive in Super Bowl LVI and may well have won MVP acclaim were ballots not required to be turned in before that drive.

Donald, 31, threatened retirement and sent the Rams a letter — amid contract negotiations — informing them of his intentions to walk away. The Rams came back to the table with an unprecedented offer — a straight raise with no new years added, making Donald the NFL’s highest-paid defender again. Donald’s $31.6MM-per-year average dwarfs the rest of the D-tackle market; no other interior D-lineman makes more than $21MM per annum. That deal has not started off well for the Rams, who have seen their run of good health in recent years deteriorate into a mess that has this team on course to be the worst defending Super Bowl champion in league history.

Donald’s third Rams pact runs through 2024; he is set to count $26MM against Los Angeles’ cap next year. That money is guaranteed, though Donald’s 2024 cash is not. This season, Donald’s production has dipped a bit. The ninth-year defender has five sacks and 11 quarterback hits. While he still would have had time to move toward his seventh double-digit sack season, this injury will probably nix such an effort.

Kupp underwent ankle surgery and is expected to miss at least the next four games. Considering that timetable and the Rams’ 3-8 record, it seems unlikely the All-Pro wideout will play again this year. Stafford has spent the past two weeks in concussion protocol, with a neck issue leading him back there after he left the Rams’ Week 11 loss to the Saints early. Conflicting reports surfaced about Stafford returning this season, but the Rams are unsurprisingly considering punting on the rest of the veteran quarterback’s 14th season and regrouping in 2023. Stafford’s new deal runs through 2026.

The Rams squandered key seasons from their well-paid trio. Donald will turn 32 in May; Stafford will be 35 in February. Kupp is younger, but he will hit 30 in June. The team, which also placed Allen Robinson on IR on Tuesday because of a season-ending foot injury, may see its skeleton crew thin further in the weeks ahead. Although the 1982 49ers finished 3-6, a strike-shortened season impacted their first title defense. No defending Super Bowl champion has finished with fewer than six wins in a non-strike-shortened campaign; if the Rams are to be without Donald and Stafford the rest of the way, they might have a hard time making it to 6-11. The Lions hold the Rams’ 2023 first-round pick.

Cooper Kupp To Undergo Surgery; Rams Lose Two More O-Linemen

NOVEMBER 20: Kupp is expected to miss six to eight weeks, per Adam Schefter of As we are presently in Week 11 of the season, that timeframe means that, if the 3-6 Rams cannot climb back into the postseason race, Kupp will be shelved for the remainder of the year.

NOVEMBER 15: Cooper Kupp avoided missing any time after his Week 8 ankle injury, but his latest issue will force an extended absence. The All-Pro wide receiver is heading to IR, Sean McVay said Tuesday.

The Rams’ top weapon will undergo surgery to repair his high ankle sprain Wednesday. Kupp must miss at least four games. With the Rams having already had their bye week, the reigning Offensive Player of the Year will be out until at least Week 14. This will be Kupp’s longest absence since his 2018 ACL tear.

While that Rams team withstood Kupp’s knee malady and trekked to Super Bowl LIII, this edition has been Kupp-dependent throughout the season. Kupp’s 812 receiving yards are more than double the Rams’ second-leading pass catcher. The defending champions have neither been able to run consistently nor have they found UFA addition Allen Robinson as reliable as the likes of Robert Woods or Brandin Cooks, the since-traded receivers who helped the Rams’ 2018 team push past Kupp’s setback. Given a three-year, $46.5MM deal with $30MM fully guaranteed, Robinson has 29 receptions for 292 yards and two touchdowns this season.

Kupp, 29, has also become a different player since his previous injury. The former Division I-FCS prospect posted one of the all-time great receiving seasons in 2021, catching 145 passes for 1,947 yards and 16 touchdowns. He topped that triple crown regular season with 478 playoff yards. Only Larry Fitzgerald (546 in 2008) has accumulated more in one postseason. Kupp’s 2,425 cumulative receiving yards last season shattered an NFL record, and the Super Bowl LVI MVP parlayed that staggering leap into top-five receiver money.

The Rams tore up both Kupp and Aaron Donald‘s deals this offseason, despite each having more than one season remaining. Kupp’s $26.7MM-per-year deal runs through 2026. The contract included $35MM fully guaranteed, but an additional $35MM will shift from an injury guarantee to a full guarantee in March 2023. While Kupp returning late in the season is not out of the question, the 3-6 Rams going through one of the worst Super Bowl title defenses in NFL history may prompt the team to be cautious and shut him down.

Additionally, the Rams encountered more injury trouble on their offensive line. Two of their latest batch of O-line starters — Alaric Jackson and Chandler Brewer — will be shut down. Jackson, who had worked at guard and left tackle this season, has a blood clot issue that will end his season. Brewer suffered an MCL sprain that, based on the Rams’ IR situation, will likely end his 2022 campaign. Jackson also missed Week 10 with a knee injury, but this blood clot issue — which will require blood thinner medication — has obviously become his central concern.

A former UDFA out of Iowa, Jackson has been a valuable contributor for a battered Rams front this season. After playing 61 offensive snaps as a rookie — for a much healthier Rams team — Jackson has started six games in his second NFL campaign. Pro Football Focus rates Jackson, who was not a Week 1 starter, just outside the top 40 among guards. He has seen time filling in for Joseph Noteboom at left tackle as well.

One of the many next men up for the Rams, Brewer — a UDFA out of Middle Tennessee State — has started the past two games at right guard. Brewer will undergo knee surgery, per McVay, likely ending his season.

The Rams have burned six of their eight injury activations already. The team now has Kupp, veteran left guard David Edwards and safety Jordan Fuller in the IR-return mix. McVay said Tuesday the Rams were hopeful to have Edwards, who has missed extensive time with a concussion, back this year. An Edwards return would leave just one injury activation available for the champs, who used two in Week 8 (Van Jefferson, Troy Hill) and three in Week 10 (guard Coleman Shelton, running back Kyren Williams, safety Quentin Lake), the rest of the way.

Minor NFL Transactions: 11/16/22

Today’s minor transactions:

Atlanta Falcons

Denver Broncos

Houston Texans

Los Angeles Chargers

Los Angeles Rams

Philadelphia Eagles

Pittsburgh Steelers

Tennessee Titans

Rams’ Cooper Kupp Suffers Ankle Injury

7:07pm: While no fracture occurred, Kupp seems likely to miss time. The Rams’ top playmaker suffered a high ankle sprain that’s Adam Schefter notes (via Twitter) “doesn’t sound good.” An IR stay may not be out of the question for the star pass catcher, but any Kupp absence stands to significantly affect a Rams team that has not been able to rely on anyone else to pick up yards this season.

11:00am: The Rams’ offense has had one consistent contributor this season, and the team may be without him for a stretch. Cooper Kupp went down with an ankle injury during yesterday’s loss to the Cardinals, leaving his availability in the short term very much in doubt.

Last night, Jourdan Rodrigue of The Athletic reported (via Twitter) that the worst-case scenario had been avoided for last season’s Offensive Player of the Year. An update from NFL Network’s Ian Rapoport confirms this, as he adds that no fracture is believed to have taken place (video link).

More testing will be done today, but it appears likely at this point that Kupp is facing a multi-week absence. That would deal a huge blow to the defending champions, of course, given their inability to find consistency on offense outside of Kupp’s production. Los Angeles has dealt with a multitude of injuries along the offensive line, a falling out with running back Cam Akers and underwhelming numbers from free agent signing Allen Robinson.

Kupp, though, had delivered consistent performances prior to yesterday. The 29-year-old sits at 75 catches, 812 yards and six touchdowns on the campaign, one which comes immediately after he won the NFL’s ‘Triple Crown’ by leading the league in each of those three categories. That earned him a three-year, $80MM extension in the offseason, as the Rams took care of new deals for Kupp, quarterback Matthew Stafford and defensive tackle Aaron Donald.

Assuming Kupp does miss time, Robinson would take on an increased role as the team’s leading receiver. Brought in to replace Robert Woods, the former Jaguar and Bear has yet to top 63 yards in a game during his first season with the Rams. Recent draftees Van Jefferson and Tutu Atwell could also be in line for a larger workload. Once considered the favorites to sign Odell Beckham Jr. after his successful run with the team, the Rams do not appear to be finalists for the veteran’s impending decision.

The Rams sit at the bottom of the NFC West with a 3-6 record. Their average of 239 passing yards per game (ranking 17th in the league) would stand to take a significate hit if Kupp’s tests return an unwanted result.

Rams Notes: OBJ, Injuries, Offensive Line

Odell Beckham Jr. took to Twitter earlier today to express disappointment in the Rams’ latest offer, noting that the front office offered him “the lowest of low offers.” Despite OBJ’s public complaint about negotiations, Rams head coach Sean McVay actually expressed optimism about re-signing the veteran receiver.

“I love Odell. We have constant dialogue,” McVay said today (via The Athletic’s Jourdan Rodrigue). “I think he also knows that certainly I don’t think that’s the last (offer) that will come from us. I’m not familiar with exactly what it is, he knows how we feel about him. We’ve got a little bit of time. Love Odell, nothing but good things coming from me.”

While OBJ has been considering overtures from various teams, the receiver did admit that the Rams “know where [he] wanted to be.” If the organization is willing to extend a bit financially, it sounds like they should have the inside track on signing the wideout.

Beckham Jr. joined the Rams midway through last season and had 305 receiving yards and five touchdowns in eight games. He added another 21 catches in four playoff games, with his postseason ending prematurely thanks to a torn ACL suffered during the Super Bowl. The Rams have continually been connected to the receiver throughout the offseason, even after extending Cooper Kupp and spending on Allen Robinson.

More notes out of Los Angeles:

  • Rams wideout Cooper Kupp (foot), defensive tackle Aaron Donald (foot), and tight end Tyler Higbee (ankle) were all held out of practice today. McVay said the three players are dealing with injuries sustained during their Week 5 loss to the Cowboys, but he doesn’t expect the ailments to impact the players’ availability for Sunday’s game against the Panthers (per
  • The Rams have yet to find their footing on offense, with the running game struggling in particular. McVay was asked about the team’s struggles so far, and instead of pointing the finger at Cam Akers or Darrell Henderson, he instead attributes the issues to a lack of continuity on the offensive line. “It depends on the types of concepts and things that we’re trying to activate, but we’ve been at our best when there’s an identity but enough versatility to be able to alleviate the stress off of some of your core concepts, and it takes all 11 (players),” McVay said (h/t to John Dillon of The Rams Wire). “It has been a challenge because we’ve never had the same guys up front. We’ve had backs that haven’t really practiced, we’re trying to get a bunch of different things going, all of which is an excuse that just is what I think is for weak-minded people. I’m not going to make them, but we just got to continue to keep swinging and keep plugging along and figure it out because nobody cares and we’ve got to fix it.” The Rams lost another lineman yesterday when they placed guard David Edwards on injured reserve.
  • Speaking of running backs, the Rams moved on from RB Jake Funk earlier this week, and the RB has since found a new home on the Saints practice squad. Funk saw time in 10 games with Los Angeles in 2021, mostly appearing on special teams.

Largest 2022 Cap Hits: Offense

After the COVID-19 pandemic led to the second reduction in NFL salary cap history last year, the 2022 cap made a record jump. This year’s salary ceiling ($208.2MM) checks in $25.7MM north of the 2021 figure.

While quarterbacks’ salaries will continue to lead the way, a handful of blockers and skill-position players carry sizable cap numbers for 2022. A few of the quarterbacks that lead the way this year may not be tied to those numbers once the regular season begins. The 49ers, Browns and Ravens have made efforts to alter these figures via trades or extensions.

Here are the top 2022 salary cap hits on the offensive side of the ball:

  1. Ryan Tannehill, QB (Titans): $38.6MM
  2. Patrick Mahomes, QB (Chiefs): $35.79MM
  3. Kirk Cousins, QB (Vikings): $31.42MM
  4. Jared Goff, QB (Lions): $31.15MM
  5. Aaron Rodgers, QB (Packers): $28.53MM
  6. Carson Wentz, QB (Commanders): $28.29MM
  7. Jimmy Garoppolo, QB (49ers): $26.95MM
  8. Russell Wilson, QB (Broncos): $24MM
  9. Lamar Jackson, QB (Ravens): $23.02MM
  10. Kenny Golladay, WR (Giants): $21.2MM
  11. Garett Bolles, T (Broncos): $21MM
  12. Dak Prescott, QB (Cowboys): $19.73MM
  13. Derek Carr, QB (Raiders): $19.38MM
  14. D.J. Humphries, T (Cardinals): $19.33MM
  15. Keenan Allen, WR (Chargers): $19.2MM
  16. Taylor Decker, T (Lions): $18.9MM
  17. Sam Darnold, QB (Panthers): 18.89MM
  18. Baker Mayfield, QB (Browns): $18.89MM
  19. Matt Ryan, QB (Colts): $18.7MM
  20. Ronnie Stanley, T (Ravens): $18.55MM
  21. Donovan Smith, T (Buccaneers): $18.4MM
  22. Ezekiel Elliott, RB (Cowboys): $18.22MM
  23. DeAndre Hopkins, WR (Cardinals): $17.95MM
  24. Cooper Kupp, WR (Rams): $17.8MM
  25. Laremy Tunsil, T (Texans): $17.71MM
  • The Chiefs’ cap sheet looks a bit different this year, with Tyreek Hill and Tyrann Mathieu off the roster. But Mahomes’ cap number rockets from $7.4MM in 2021 to the league’s second-largest figure in 2022. This marks the first time Mahomes’ 10-year contract is set to count more than $10MM toward Kansas City’s cap, with the AFC West champs not yet restructuring the deal this year.
  • Tied to a few lucrative extensions since relocating to Minnesota, Cousins’ third Vikings deal dropped his cap number from $45MM. The fifth-year Vikings QB’s cap number is set to climb past $36MM in 2023.
  • Prior to negotiating his landmark extension in March, Rodgers was set to count more than $46MM on the Packers’ payroll.
  • The 49ers are aiming to move Garoppolo’s nonguaranteed money off their payroll. That figure becomes guaranteed in Week 1, providing a key date for the franchise. San Francisco is prepared to let Garoppolo negotiate contract adjustments with other teams to facilitate a trade.
  • Wilson counts $26MM on the Seahawks’ 2022 payroll, due to the dead money the NFC West franchise incurred by trading its 10-year starter in March.
  • Jackson, Darnold and Mayfield are attached to fifth-year option salaries. Jackson’s is higher due to the former MVP having made two Pro Bowls compared to his 2018 first-round peers’ zero. The 2020 CBA separated fifth-year option values by playing time and accomplishments. The Browns and Panthers have engaged in off-and-on negotiations on divvying up Mayfield’s salary for months, while a Jackson extension remains on the radar.
  • Golladay’s cap number jumped from $4.47MM last year to the highest non-quarterback figure among offensive players. The Giants wideout’s four-year deal calls for $21MM-plus cap hits from 2023-24.
  • Prior to being traded to the Colts, who adjusted their new starter’s contract, Ryan was set to carry an NFL-record $48MM cap hit this year. The Falcons are carrying a league-record $40.5MM dead-money charge after dealing their 14-year starter.
  • The Texans restructured Tunsil’s deal in March, dropping his 2022 cap hit from $26.6MM to its present figure. Because of the adjustment, Tunsil’s 2023 cap number resides at $35.2MM

Contract information courtesy of Over The Cap 

NFC West Notes: Benjamin, Robinson, Hawks

The Cardinals saw some shuffling in their RB room this offseason, with James Conner getting a new deal, but Chase Edmonds signing with the Dolphins in free agency. That left the No. 2 role up for grabs, making the role one of the roster battles to watch throughout the offseason.

Arizona added quality depth at the position by signing Darrel Williams late last month. The former Chief had by far the best season of his four-year career in 2021, posting more than 1,000 scrimmage yards and scoring eight total touchdowns. The small workload he handled in his three previous campaigns suggests he would be well-suited to a significant backup role behind Conner.

However, an in-house option is currently in the lead for that spot. ESPN’s Josh Weinfus reports that Eno Benjamin has “caught the eye of” head coach Kliff Kingsbury with his work during the spring. The 2020 seventh-rounder saw a limited role behind Conner and Edmonds last season, receiving just 34 carries. Weinfus nevertheless tabs Benjamin as the “frontrunner” for the No. 2 job heading into training camp, where he will compete with Williams to determine the final pecking order.

Here are some other notes from around the NFC West:

  • The Rams made a widely applauded move in free agency by signing wideout Allen Robinson as a replacement for Robert Woods and, potentially, Odell Beckham Jr. According to Sports Illustrated’s Albert Breer, the team consulted Matt Stafford and Cooper Kupp before finalizing the deal, an interesting tidbit on their decision-making process and confirmation, as Breer writes, of how the pair “will be invested in seeing that Robinson succeeds” in Los Angeles.
  • The Seahawks have made a pair of front office hires, both in the analytics department. ESPN’s Seth Walder tweets that Seattle is bringing in Becca Erenbaum, who had most recently served as a basketball insights associate with the New York Knicks. She will have the title of senior football research analyst in her new home. The Seahawks are also hiring Peter Engler as a football research assistant. He previously worked with the Charlotte Thunder of the American Arena Football League and the 33rd Team, a front office-driven analysis website.

Latest On Cooper Kupp’s Rams Extension

Cooper Kupp completed one of the greatest seasons in wide receiver history, leading the NFL in receptions, receiving yards and touchdowns. The breakthrough star then delivered throughout the Rams’ playoff run, adding 478 yards to his regular-season total to finish his 21-game season with a preposterous 2,425.

The veteran slot receiver entered the offseason tied to a three-year deal worth $48MM — one he signed in September 2020. Kupp’s Matthew Stafford partnership produced a season in which the former Division I-FCS prospect eclipsed his previous single-season yardage best by more than 700, and that performance led to offseason renegotiations. Rather than a restructure or a one-year bump, Kupp scored a three-year, $80MM extension. Becoming the rare player to sign two big-ticket accords less than two years apart, Kupp is now a top-five wage-earner at his position.

Kupp, 29, said he did not push to be the league’s highest-paid receiver, instead joining Stafford in working toward an extension that made sense for both team and player. The Super Bowl LVI MVP is closer to the NFL’s highest-paid wideout than Stafford is to being its highest-paid QB, at $26.7MM per year (the fourth-highest receiver AAV), however. Then again, receivers do not have as many chances to cash in compared to quarterbacks.

There was a lot of trust involved on each side, that we wouldn’t come to this place and treat it like a negotiation at all. We tried to have a conversation and figure out what it looks like for them, balancing the things that were important for them and the things that were important for us,” Kupp said, via Albert Breer of

And how can we get to a place where we’re, at the end, both shaking hands and feeling good, both feeling good about what we have ahead of us? We were able to have that conversation, and it’s not writing a number on a piece of paper and just passing it back and forth until you whittle each other down. The collaborative approach, to me, just allowed us to fully understand it and find that place.”

Los Angeles’ third Kupp contract, which came with $70MM in total guarantees, runs through the 2026 season. While this accord only includes $35MM guaranteed at signing (13th among wideouts), Breer adds $35MM shifts from an injury guarantee to a full guarantee in March 2023. With Kupp all but certain to be on the Rams’ roster at that point, he is poised to collect that full $70MM amount.

Kupp and Aaron Donald‘s deals created nearly $4MM in Rams cap space this year, but the former’s numbers spike in 2023. Kupp will be tied to his largest cap number of the deal ($27.8MM) next year, per Of the defending champions’ big three extensions this offseason, only Donald’s — a defender-record $31.6MM-per-year agreement — used void years to spread out the cap hits.

NFC West Notes: Hawks, Davis-Price, Rams

Not big on making big cornerback investments, with Richard Sherman‘s 2014 extension the exception, the Seahawks have some questions at the position ahead of training camp. A year after the team let Shaquill Griffin walk in free agency, 2021 starter D.J. Reed joined the Jets in March. The Seahawks did not use a first- or second-day draft pick at corner and, while they brought back Justin Coleman in the slot, have some uncertainty in how they will replace Reed. One option will be Artie Burns, the former Steelers first-round pick who signed a one-year, $2MM deal. Burns, 27, lined up opposite Sidney Jones with Seattle’s first-team defense at minicamp, Bob Condotta of the Seattle Times notes. Burns, who worked as a late-season starter with the Bears last season, has not been looked upon as a primary starter since the Steelers benched him in 2018. A pair of fourth-round picks — second-year cover man Tre Brown and rookie Coby Bryant — loom as options as well. Brown did not participate in minicamp, due to the knee injury that ended his rookie slate. After nearly four years after his Steelers starter run wrapped, Burns has a chance to carve out a key role with his third team.

Here is the latest from the NFC West:

  • The 49ers Tyrion Davis-Price third-round pick was somewhat surprising, but bolstering a backfield featuring other notable assets may be a two-fold solution. While the 49ers have starter Elijah Mitchell, backup Jeff Wilson and 2021 third-rounder Trey Sermon, Albert Breer of notes the selection of the LSU running back choice doubled as an “olive branch” of sorts to Deebo Samuel. Kyle Shanahan using Samuel as a between-the-tackles back last season is believed to be one of the gripes the disgruntled wide receiver had when he made his trade request in April. Davis-Price joining the backfield will provide more insurance so that Samuel — his 6.2 yards-per-carry figure notwithstanding — will not be needed for such a role in 2022. The 49ers continue to work toward a Samuel extension.
  • The Rams‘ big-ticket extensions for Aaron Donald and Cooper Kupp will create a bit of cap room in 2022. The defending Super Bowl champions are gaining $3.63MM in space, Field Yates of tweets, with Donald tied to a $24MM cap number and Kupp tethered to a $17.8MM figure. Los Angeles’ Donald and Kupp deals occurred two days apart. Donald is now the game’s highest-paid non-quarterback, while Kupp’s new pact checks in at $26.7MM per year — fourth among wideouts — and carries a receiver-high $75MM guaranteed.
  • Shifting back to the Seahawks, they set to return their 2021 guard duo — Gabe Jackson and Damien Lewis — but their oldest O-lineman will be returning from offseason knee surgery, per Condotta. Jackson, 30, missed OTAs and the Seahawks’ minicamp because of the procedure. The former Raiders starter is going into his ninth season. Because of the new contract the Seahawks gave Jackson last year, he is set to count $9MM toward their 2022 cap. Jackson only missed one game in his first Seahawks season.
  • Staying on the Seahawks’ O-line, the team will feature a right tackle competition in camp. Rookie Abraham Lucas will vie for the job against second-year blockers Jake Curhan and Stone Forsythe, Condotta adds. A former UDFA, Curhan started five games last season. Forsythe, who has mostly worked as a left tackle during his short career, played just 14 offensive snaps as a rookie. Second-year Seattle OC Shane Waldron said he does not have an issue starting two rookies at tackle; No. 9 overall pick Charles Cross is set to succeed Duane Brown on the left side.

Rams, WR Cooper Kupp Agree To Extension

And like that, the Rams have extended another star player. Wide receiver Cooper Kupp has signed a three-year extension with the Rams, reports ESPN’s Adam Schefter (via Twitter).

The three-year extension will be added to the remaining two years on Kupp’s current deal, locking the Super Bowl MVP into what’s essentially a five-year, $110MM deal. That’s about $80MM in new money, as NFL Network’s Tom Pelissero tweets. Schefter clarifies on Twitter that Kupp will earn a new $75MM in guaranteed money. Earlier this evening, NFL Network’s Ian Rapoport estimated that Kupp and the Rams were zeroing on a three-year deal.

Kupp wasn’t looking to reset the market with his new deal, and while he earned a handsome pay day, it still doesn’t crack the top-five at the position in terms of average annual value. The five-year, $110MM puts Kupp’s AAV at $22MM; that ranks sixth at wide receiver behind Tyreek Hill ($30MM/yr), Davante Adams ($28MM), DeAndre Hopkins ($27.25MM), A.J. Brown ($25MM), and Stefon Diggs ($24MM). In terms of total value, the five upcoming years for Kupp is only rivaled by Adams ($140MM) and Hill ($120MM).

Following an incredible 2021 campaign that saw Kupp lead the NFL in receptions (145), receiving yards (1,947), and receiving touchdowns (16) before earning a championship and the Super Bowl MVP, it always seemed inevitable that Kupp would ink a new deal. The team made it clear throughout the offseason that a Kupp extension was a priority, but the team was in no rush to ink the deal with several priorities (including a new contract for Aaron Donald) still unresolved.

Indeed, the organization only inked Donald to a new deal days ago, and they’ve now completed a new contract for Kupp. In only a matter of days, the Rams have committed $205MM to the two players, and while the front office has done an admirable job of getting creative with their cap machinations, there’s no denying the future money the organization has committed to in pursuit of another Super Bowl win. Besides Donald and Kupp, the organization has also handed out a sizable extension to quarterback Matthew Stafford (four years, $160MM) while also signing linebacker Bobby Wagner (five years, $50MM) and wideout Allen Robinson (three years, $46.5MM).

The new deal will keep Kupp in Los Angeles through the 2026 season. This is already Kupp’s third contract, and as Albert Breer of TheMMQB points out on Twitter, this is a good case study in support of shorter extensions being more beneficial for players. Kupp inked a three-year, $48MM extension with the Rams in 2020. The East Washington product entered the NFL as a third-round pick in in 2017.

Kupp was productive as a rookie, but he missed half of his sophomore campaign. The receiver topped 1,000 receiving yards in 2019, and while he exceeded 1,000 yards from scrimmage in 2020, the numbers were still a step down from the previous campaign. Then, with Stafford joining the Rams, Kupp exploded, achieving the NFL’s receiving triple crown. His performance in 2021 earned him a number of accolades, including Offensive Player of the Year and first-team All-Pro.