Rams continue to lock up stars with receiver Cooper Kupp latest to get big bucks

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The Rams' Cooper Kupp celebrates after the team's Super Bowl victory.
The Rams' Cooper Kupp celebrates after the team's Super Bowl victory. Now he can celebrate a new contract too. (Robert Gauthier / Los Angeles Times)

Record-setting receiver Cooper Kupp said he wanted negotiations on a new contract with the Rams to be a collaborative effort, something that would result in a great outcome for his family and for the team.

“That place exists,” he said this week, “and it’s just getting there.”

The Rams and Kupp got there Wednesday, Kupp signing a three-year extension.

Terms of the deal were not available, but the extension includes $75 million in guarantees and could be worth as much as $80 million, a person with knowledge of the situation said. Kupp has two years remaining on an extension he signed in 2020, making the total value of the five-year deal worth $110 million, the person said.

In a video posted to the team’s Twitter account, Kupp said he is glad to “be here for the long haul.”

“It’s just going to be an incredible ride,” he said. “Can’t wait to get back at it.”

Tweeted star cornerback Jalen Ramsey: “SECURED! Love to see guys who earned & deserve a pay day get it!”

Kupp, the NFL’s offensive player of the year in 2021, led the league with 145 receptions, 1,949 yards receiving and 16 touchdown catches, becoming the first player since 2005 to win the so-called triple crown. Kupp caught eight passes, two for touchdowns, in the Rams’ victory over the Cincinnati Bengals in Super Bowl LVI at SoFi Stadium.

Coach Sean McVay and general manager Les Snead said after the Super Bowl that quarterback Matthew Stafford, defensive lineman Aaron Donald and Kupp were in line for extensions.

In March, Stafford signed a four-year extension that could be worth as much as $160 million. On Monday, Donald signed a deal that reportedly includes a $40-million raise over the next two seasons.

Rams wide receiver Cooper Kupp runs a drill during practice Wednesday in Thousand Oaks.
Rams wide receiver Cooper Kupp runs a drill during practice Wednesday in Thousand Oaks. He also agreed to a contract extension Wednesday with the Rams. (Mark J. Terrill / Associated Press)

Donald’s deal set the stage for the Rams to complete negotiations with Kupp before the team breaks for summer after a team meeting Thursday.

Kupp, who turns 29 next Wednesday, had two years remaining on the $48-million extension he signed before the 2020 season. He was due to carry a salary-cap number of $18.7 million this season, according to overthecap.com.

Though Kupp was in line for an extension, he surely benefited from the recent uptick in contracts for receivers.

The Miami Dolphins gave Tyreek Hill a four-year, $120-million deal that includes more than $72 million in guarantees, according to overthecap.com. Davante Adams signed a five-year, $140-million deal with the Las Vegas Raiders that includes $65.7 million in guarantees. Stefon Diggs of the Buffalo Bills received a four-year, $96-million extension that reportedly includes $70 million in guarantees.

Hill’s deal gave him a $30-million-per-year average, the highest among receivers in the NFL, according to overthecap.com. Adams’ will average $28 million, Arizona’s DeAndre Hopkins $27.3 million, Philadelphia’s A.J. Brown $25 million and Diggs $24 million, according to the website.

Kupp said Tuesday that he was not seeking a deal that would reset the market for receivers.

“I’m not trying to compare myself,” he said. “I’m not trying to say, ‘OK, well where was Tyreek at? All those guys that got deals, where were all those guys at? And I need to be higher than them in certain places.’ ”

As a precursor to finalizing Kupp’s deal, the Rams on Wednesday waived inside linebacker Travin Howard, who was due to carry a salary-cap number of $2.5 million, according to overthecap.com.

Kupp, who is scheduled to speak with reporters Thursday, is part of a receiving corps that includes new addition Allen Robinson, third-year pro Van Jefferson and second-year pros Tutu Atwell and Ben Skowronek. Odell Beckham Jr., recovering from knee surgery, remains a free agent.

The Rams, attempting to become the first team in nearly two decades to repeat as Super Bowl champion, will reconvene for training camp in late July at UC Irvine. They open the season on Sept. 8 at SoFi Stadium against the Bills.

This story originally appeared in Los Angeles Times.