Robert Woods

Minor NFL Transactions: 11/24/21

Here are Wednesday’s minor moves:

Chicago Bears

Denver Broncos

Detroit Lions

Green Bay Packers

Houston Texans

Las Vegas Raiders

Los Angeles Rams

Miami Dolphins

Minnesota Vikings

New York Giants

New York Jets

Philadelphia Eagles

Tennessee Titans

Robert Woods Tore ACL, Done For Season

The Rams officially signed Odell Beckham Jr. yesterday, but another one of their wideouts suffered a season-ending injury. Robert Woods tore his ACL at practice on Friday, reports ESPN’s Adam Schefter (via Twitter).

[RELATED: Rams, OBJ Agree To Deal]

Woods went down with a knee injury during Friday’s practice, but per Schefter (on Twitter), the wideout popped back up and finished the day. Woods even conducted interviews, and no one in the organization suspected anything was wrong until tests later revealed an “isolated ACL tear” (Twitter link).

The 29-year-old Woods was having another standout season in 2021. Through the first nine games, Woods hauled in 45 receptions for 556 yards and four touchdowns. He also had another eight carries for 46 yards and one touchdown. The wideout has been remarkably durable during his tenure with the Rams; while he missed four games during his first season with the organization, he only missed one regular season game between 2018 and 2020. Now, the veteran captain will be sidelined for at least the rest of the season, and there’s a good chance his recovery could carry over into the 2022 campaign.

The Rams, of course, added to their offense earlier this week when they won the OBJ sweepstakes, signing the veteran wideout to a one-year deal. According to Schefter (on Twitter), OBJ will indeed make his Rams debut on Monday against the 49ers. It was expected that the Matthew Stafford-led passing attack would by led by Cooper Kupp, Woods, and Beckham Jr., with Van Jefferson serving as a rotation piece. The 2020 second-round pick will presumably retain his third spot on the depth chart. Through nine games this season, Jefferson has hauled in 27 receptions for 433 yards and three touchdowns.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

Rams, Robert Woods Agree On Extension

After Sean McVay hinted at a Robert Woods extension Thursday, the Rams have agreed to a deal with their dependable wide receiver.

Woods agreed to terms on a four-year extension Friday, Lindsey Thiry of ESPN.com reports (on Twitter). The pact includes $32MM guaranteed, per Thiry, and can max out at $68MM. It is a four-year, $65MM deal, according to Ian Rapoport of NFL.com (on Twitter).

The Rams have tweaked their receiving corps this offseason but determined they want Woods and Cooper Kupp to form a long-term duo. Teammates since 2017, Woods and Kupp are now signed at $16.25MM per year and $15.75MM per year, respectively.

Kupp agreed on a new deal earlier this month and is now signed through 2023. Woods’ new contract is stacked on top of his previous through-2021 pact, per Jourdan Rodrigue of The Athletic (on Twitter). That means the elder of the Rams’ starting wideouts is signed through 2025.

These deals emerged months after the Rams ate a sizable chunk of dead money to get off Brandin Cooks‘ $16.2MM-AAV contract. The Rams traded Cooks to the Texans this offseason, shipping out their nominal No. 1 wideout after two seasons. Woods and Kupp each surpassed 1,100 yards last season, however, while Cooks’ concussion concerns worsened. The current Rams starters are now the NFL’s highest-paid receiver tandem.

Woods, 28, broke out after signing with the Rams in 2017 — to the point his deal quickly became a bargain for the recently relocated franchise. A moderately productive Bills receiver, Woods has topped 1,100 yards in back-to-back seasons. His 176 receptions in that span rank sixth in the NFL. While Woods only scored eight touchdowns in those seasons, he has been essential in McVay’s attack. The Rams gave Woods two modest pay bumps for his work but now have renewed their commitment to the former second-round pick.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

Rams Plan To Extend Robert Woods

The Rams appear to have identified their long-term wide receiver plan. Shortly after extending Cooper Kupp, they want to give Robert Woods another contract.

Sean McVay said Thursday a Woods extension will happen sooner rather than later. Woods has two seasons remaining on his deal, but the Rams have adjusted his earnings multiple times. A Los Angeles native, Woods has said he wants to be with the Rams long-term as well.

We want to get him extended, too,” McVay said, via SI.com’s Eric Williams. “He’s a huge part of what we’re doing. That’s something I think is definitely important. You absolutely talk to your players about that. Robert and Cooper have been pillars of what we’ve done the last, few years.

“It’s great to get Cooper under contract; I’m so happy for him. And you can expect to see something similar down the line here very shortly we’re working toward for Robert.”

Woods, 28, counts barely $8MM against Los Angeles’ 2020 salary cap. He is set to earn a $9MM base salary in 2021. The former Bills second-round pick signed a five-year, $39MM deal with the Rams in 2017 but enhanced his stock considerably in Los Angeles, turning in back-to-back 1,100-yard seasons. His 176 catches since the start of the 2018 season rank sixth in the NFL.

The Rams gave Woods a modest bonus in 2018 and added $1MM to his 2019 base salary as well. Now, after trading Brandin Cooks and giving Kupp a $16MM-per-year deal — which was Cooks’ price on that 2018 extension — the team is turning its attention to Woods. The Rams are one of several franchises that project to be well over the 2021 cap, which could drop by a record margin. But extensions have picked up around the league, after a quiet several months, and the Rams seem confident they can finalize a deal with Woods.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

NFC West Notes: Seahawks, Rams, 49ers

The Seahawks waived undrafted free agent rookie cornerback Kemah Siverand earlier this week after he attempted to sneak a woman into Seattle’s team hotel, a violation of COVID-19 protocols, according to Tom Pelissero of NFL.com (Twitter link). Siverand reportedly tried to disguise the woman as a Seahawks player by having her dress in Seattle apparel, per Pelissero. While the situation could be viewed with levity in normal circumstances, Siverand’s decision — and subsequent release — reinforce how seriously NFL teams are (and should be) taking the prospect of a COVID-19 outbreak.

Here’s more from the NFC West:

  • Robert Woods has become of the NFL’s most consistent wideouts since joining the Rams in 2017, and with two years remaining on his current contract, it’s possible he could be looking for a new deal. The 28-year-old had “talks early on” this year and is now looking to “get paid,” as Gary Klein of the Los Angeles Times writes. Woods, who has topped 85 receptions and 1,110 yards in each of the past two seasons, is only earning $6.8MM annually. He’s due to count for $8.175MM on the Rams’ 2020 cap.
  • After serving as a consultant last season, Chris Foerster has been hired as the 49ers‘ assistant offensive line coach, per Jennifer Lee Chan of NBC Sports. Foerster, of course, resigned as the Dolphins’ OL coach in 2017 after a video surfaced showing him snorting a white substance. The 58-year-old, who was San Francisco’s offensive line coach in 2015, has been sober since that time, per Chan, who adds Foerster signed a two-year deal with the 49ers this time around.
  • The 49ers are searching for defensive tackle depth, and free agent Marcell Dareus is a “name to watch,” tweets Adam Caplan of SiriusXM NFL Radio. San Francisco traded away DeForest Buckner during the offseason, and while the team replaced him with first-round pick Javon Kinlaw, it could still use depth. Dareus, the No. 3 overall pick in 2011, spent most of the past three years with the Jaguars. He missed most of last season with a core muscle injury, and Jacksonville subsequently declined his 2020 option.
  • Wide receiver Aleva Hifo is scheduled to work out for the Cardinals, per Aaron Wilson of the Houston Chronicle (Twitter link). Hifo signed with the Chiefs after going undrafted earlier this year, but was cut in July.

Injury Updates: Rams, Clowney, Brady

Rams wideout Brandin Cooks is set to return from the fifth known concussion of his six-year career. While the veteran has continually been sidelined by the dangerous head injury, he told reporters that his latest concussion didn’t make him consider retirement.

“Absolutely not,” Cooks told ESPN’s Lindsey Thiry. “When it happened, that never went through my mind. Even now, it’s not going through my mind.”

Cooks suffered a pair of concussions in a 25-day span, and he traveled to Pittsburgh twice to meet with the director of the UPMC Sports Medicine Concussion Program. Following those meetings, Cooks felt comfortable returning to the field.

“One of the biggest things that I learned, concussions is a case-by-case thing,” said Cooks. “Mine was very unique, and just thankful once again to be able to go and get answers.”

Cooks won’t be the only Rams receiver returning to the lineup. Thiry writes that Robert Woods returned to practice this week after missing last week’s contest due to “personal issues.” The 6-4 Rams will take on the Ravens on Monday night.

Let’s check out some more injury notes from around the NFL…

  • Seahawks defensive end Jadeveon Clowney is a game-time decision after missing three practices this week due to a hip injury, tweets ESPN’s Brady Henderson. Coach Pete Carroll told reporters that Clowney didn’t travel with the team to Philadelphia as he gets his hip checked out. Clowney suffered the injury during Monday’s win over the 49ers. In his first season with Seattle, the 26-year-old has compiled 25 tackles, three sacks, and three forced fumbles.
  • The Eagles will be dealing with injuries of their own, as Lane Johnson is set to miss the matchup against Seattle. The veteran right tackle suffered a head injury during last weekend’s loss to the Patriots, and he remains in the concussion protocol. Rookie first-rounder Andre Dillard will slide into the starting lineup.
  • No surprise here, but NFL.com’s Ian Rapoport tweets that Patriots quarterback Tom Brady will play vs. the Cowboys tomorrow. The 42-year-old was listed as questionable on the injury report thanks to an elbow injury. Brady hasn’t missed a game due to injury since the 2008 campaign.
  • Some good news on the Giants injury front: the team announced that wideout Sterling Shepard, cornerback Janoris Jenkins, and offensive lineman Nate Solder have all cleared concussion protocol and will play Sunday against the Bears. Jenkins and Solder both left the Giants’ Week 10 loss to the Jets, while Shepard hasn’t seen the field since Week 5.

WR Notes: Hilton, Fuller, Rams, Brown

Hours ahead of a key matchup featuring questions for both teams’ pass-catching situations, let’s take a look at some wide receiver news from around the league:

  • T.Y. Hilton believes he will be given the green light to play in Thursday night’s Colts-Texans game, per James Palmer of NFL.com (on Twitter). The Colts do not have an issue with Hilton playing despite not practicing this week. Indianapolis’ top skill-position talent has missed the past three games with a calf injury. Hilton has dominated during recent games in Houston. In two games there last season, he combined for 14 receptions for 284 yards.
  • Will Fuller will return to action for the Texans tonight, Bill O’Brien said (via ESPN.com’s Ed Werder, on Twitter). Fuller has also missed the past three games, with the Texans deep threat’s absence due to a pulled hamstring.
  • The Rams look set to have their top three receivers back in action Monday. After Sean McVay expressed optimism Brandin Cooks will play against the Ravens, Robert Woods returned to the team on Thursday, Ian Rapoport of NFL.com tweets. Woods missed the Rams’ Week 11 game due to a personal matter, leaving Cooper Kupp as Los Angeles’ only starting wideout to play in what became a run-oriented game.
  • Antonio Brown‘s countersuit against accuser Britney Taylor centers on a confidentiality agreement the receiver claims to have signed under duress, Mike Florio of Pro Football Talk notes. The free agent wideout claims that during her meeting with the NFL, Taylor refused to waive the agreement — one the twice-released player contends would shed more light on his case against Taylor. Brown’s former acquaintance accused him of sexual assault. A statement from Taylor’s attorney (via Florio) indicates Brown is trying to blame the first of his two accusers for his 2019 actions and that Taylor “will not be bullied.”

Brandin Cooks Expected To Play Week 12

The Rams will be getting a jolt to their playoff push this week, as head coach Sean McVay said wide receiver Brandin Cooks is expected to play against the Ravens next Monday (via Lindsey Thiry of ESPN.com on Twitter). Cooks has been sidelined since suffering a concussion during LA’s Week 8 victory over Cincinnati.

The concussion was especially troubling given that it was Cooks’ second of the season and his fourth in less than two years. The Rams visited the Steelers in Week 10, and in advance of that matchup, Cooks traveled to Pittsburgh multiple times to meet with doctors. It’s clearly a situation to monitor moving forward, but Cooks recently indicated that he is not considering stepping away from the game.

Cooks is in his second season with the Rams, and he signed a five-year, $80MM contract with the club in July 2018. Los Angeles could not feasibly get out from under the contract until after the 2020 season at the earliest, but assuming Cooks can stay healthy, there is no reason for the team to cut ties. Cooks has topped 1,000 yards in each of the past four years, and his career 14.3 yards-per-catch mark is emblematic of his big-play ability. And while correlation does not equal causation, and while quarterback Jared Goff has been mediocre most of the season, Goff has looked especially bad with Cooks out of the lineup over the last two games.

The status of Cooks’ fellow starting wideout, Robert Woods, remains uncertain. Woods missed Sunday’s win over the Bears due to undisclosed personal reasons, and McVay indicated that Woods is still dealing with that personal matter. So while Cooks will be a major help against Baltimore’s tough secondary, Goff may not have his full arsenal at his disposal.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

Rams Give Raise To Robert Woods

The Rams are taking care of one of their own. Los Angeles is giving receiver Robert Woods a raise for the 2019 season, a source told Adam Schefter of ESPN.com (Twitter link).

According to Schefter, the Rams are “adding an additional $1 million to 2019 Base Salary, and fully guaranteed a new $2 million Roster Bonus for next year.” He notes that there aren’t any extra years being added or strings attached, and that it’s just a straight raise. It’s a gesture of good will that doesn’t happen too often in the NFL. Woods has been playing at a level well above what he’s being paid, so it does make sense why the Rams are feeling generous.

In March of 2017, Woods signed a five-year, $34MM contract with the Rams. He’s locked in for another three seasons, and that deal looks like an absolute steal for the team now. He had a career year last season, racking up 1,219 yards and six touchdowns on 86 receptions. He also played a big role as a runner/decoy with Sean McVay’s frequent jet motions, carrying the ball 19 times for 157 yards and a touchdowns.

Woods led one of the league’s best offenses in receiving yards last season, and he’d shatter the less than $7MM annually he’s earning under his current deal if he were to hit the open market now. Woods was a solid player his first handful of seasons in Buffalo, but he’s taken his game to a new level under McVay. Alongside Cooper Kupp and Brandin Cooks, he’ll be apart of one of the game’s best receiving corps in 2019.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

Rams Restructure Woods, Whitworth Deals

The Rams have carved out an extra $7MM in cap space by restructuring the deals of offensive tackle Andrew Whitworth and wide receiver Robert Woods, Field Yates of ESPN.com (on Twitter) hears. The moves may be an indication that the Rams are close to finalizing an extension with star defensive tackle Aaron Donald

Exact details of the restructures are not known, but these moves typically convert a portion of salary into a signing bonus, which can be smoothed out over future seasons. Whitworth was slated to earn an $8MM base salary this year and Woods had a $5MM base in addition to the $3MM roster bonus he collected on earlier this year.

The finish line may be in sight for the Rams and Donald. The defensive tackle stayed away from the Rams this summer in order to ramp up the pressure, and it appears that his tactics have worked. Donald also got to skip training camp, which is a nice perk for any accomplished veteran.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.