The Los Angeles Rams signed their defensive superstar to a mega-deal earlier this week. Now it's Cooper Kupp's turn.
The All-Pro, reigning NFL Offensive Player of the Year and Super Bowl MVP reportedly agreed to a three-year, $80 million deal with $75 million guaranteed which, when added to his current contract, will see him paid $110 million total over the next five seasons.
Cooper Kupp and the Rams reached agreement today on a three-year extension that ties him to LA for the next five years, at $110 million, and allows him to assume his rightful place amongst the NFL’s highest-paid WRs, per sources.
Aaron Donald and Kupp wrapped up 48 hours apart. pic.twitter.com/md9xsHND2p
— Adam Schefter (@AdamSchefter) June 8, 2022
— Tom Pelissero (@TomPelissero) June 8, 2022
The deal rewards Kupp for a season that firmly established him as one of the NFL's superstar wide receivers. In his first season playing alongside quarterback Matthew Stafford, the 28-year-old Kupp became the first player since Steve Smith in 2005 to earn the receiving triple crown, leading the NFL in receptions (145), receiving yards (1,947) and touchdown receptions (16).
That gaudy production continued into the postseason, where Kupp registered an NFL postseason-record 33 receptions in four games. He took home Super Bowl MVP honors with eight catches, 92 yards and two touchdowns.
Pretty good for a player who had no FBS offers out of high school and found his way into the NFL as a third-round draft pick out of Eastern Washington.
No wide receiver came close to touching Kupp's resume last season, and yet, his salary still doesn't reflect that.
Where Cooper Kupp ranks among NFL's highest-paid WRs
Before this offseason, five years and $110 million would have sounded in line with elite wide receiver pay. Now, it seems like a downright bargain.
Here is where Kupp's current average annual contract value ranks among the rest of the league's receivers (numbers via OverTheCap):
Tyreek Hill, Miami Dolphins, $30 million
Davante Adams, Las Vegas Raiders, $28 million
DeAndre Hopkins, Arizona Cardinals, $27.25 million
A.J. Brown, Philadelphia Eagles, $25 million
Stefon Diggs, Buffalo Bills, $24 million
Cooper Kupp, Los Angeles Rams, $22 million
D.J. Moore, Carolina Panthers, $20.63 million
It has been an extraordinarily lucrative offseason for wide receivers. Three of the top four players on that list all signed their deals in the past few months, and Kupp still ranks behind them in AAV. It's hard to blame Kupp for sticking with what's working (those three players all changed teams), but it's also hard to not see this as a win for Los Angeles.
Of course, it's easy to score a win when the salary cap has apparently ceased to exist for your purposes.
The Rams seem to be working off a different salary cap
Let's go through what the Rams have done this offseason, after winning their first Super Bowl since the 1999 season.
First, they signed former Chicago Bears wide receiver Allen Robinson to a three-year, $46.5 million deal in free agency (they later traded Robert Woods away to clear space). Then they gave Stafford a four-year, $160 million extension. Left tackle Joseph Noteboom got three years and $40 million. They later signed former Seattle Seahawks linebacker Bobby Wagner for five years and $50 million.
And, of course, the team locked down superstar Aaron Donald for three years and $95 million earlier this week.
The Rams won a Super Bowl with their superstars-and-scrubs approach, and they have made it clear they are sticking with the strategy. How will the team make the salary cap? Well, let them worry about that.