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Projecting a potential Cooper Kupp contract extension

Matt Johnson
Cooper Kupp contract
Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports

The Los Angeles Rams have spent heavily this season to defend their Super Bowl title in 2022. While plenty of big contracts have been signed, wide receiver Cooper Kupp remains without a deal reflecting his talents.

Kupp, the reigning Super Bowl MVP, is coming off one of the best seasons by a wide receiver in NFL history. He won the equivalent of the NFL’s receiver triple crown in 2021, leading the league in receptions, receiving yards and touchdowns.

  • Cooper Kupp stats (2021): 1,947 receiving yards, 145 receptions, 16 touchdowns

It would seemingly be the perfect time for the Rams to extend their 28-year-old star. He’s only under contract through the 2023 season and the rate for the highest paid receivers in the NFL is skyrocketing. Considering Los Angeles also needs cap space this year, a long-term deal is logical.

According to Gary Klein of the Los Angeles Times, the Rams intend to reward Kupp for his role in the franchise winning the Lombardi Trophy. Keeping that in mind, let’s examine what a potential deal could look like for both sides.

Examining what the Los Angeles Rams can offer Cooper Kupp

NFL: Super Bowl LVI-Super Bowl Winning Coach and MVP Press Conference
Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports

The financial landscape at wide receiver swung dramatically this offseason. While salaries for cornerbacks stagnated, the players they are paid to cover saw their value skyrocket within a matter of weeks.

It all started with the Christian Kirk contract. A wide receiver with four 100-yard games in his NFL career became one of the highest-paid players at his position in NFL history. The moment Kirk signed a deal worth $18 million per season, his peers took notice.

Davante Adams secured a five-year contract with the Las Vegas Raiders, signing a deal with an average annual value of $28 million. Days after he became the highest-paid receiver in the NFL, Tyreek Hill orchestrated a trade away from the Kansas City Chiefs and signed a four-year $120 million pact with the Miami Dolphins.

When the Rams signed Kupp to a three-year, $48 million extension early in the 2022 season, his contract seemed like a steal for a high-end receiver below the market value. Fast forward to 2022, the contract reads more like a disservice to Kupp’s contributions.

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Take a quick look at some of the advanced Cooper Kupp stats and you see his value to the Rams.

  • 124.8 QB rating when targeted (1st among WRs with 100+ targets)
  • 48 red-zone targets (1st in NFL)
  • 31 deep targets (3rd in NFL)
  • 41.8% Dominator Rating (1st in NFL
  • 3.32 yards per route run (1st in NFL)

Kupp might not be the best route-runner in the NFL, with the title given to Adams. He’s also not the most dangerous playmaker in the league that causes the most problems, that crown belongs to Hill.

However, this is still a player coming off the best single-year performance ever by a wide receiver. It’s because Kupp is the perfect fit in Sean McVay’s offense. Los Angeles uses him out of the slot primarily (63% of offensive snaps), but he can line up anywhere and get open against man or zone coverage.

  • Cooper Kupp 40 time: 4.62 seconds

Los Angeles doesn’t necessarily have to make Kupp the top-paid receiver, but he needs to make a lot more than his $15.75 million salary for the upcoming season.

A long-term extension with void years added to the deal can lower Kupp’s current $18.675 million cap hit, providing Los Angeles with the cap space to re-sign Odell Beckham Jr. It also ensures that Kupp and Matthew Stafford, teammates who quickly became best friends, stay together.

A deal will get done, the Rams are showing they want to keep the core together and are interested in doing right by the players who helped them reach this point. In the end, a four-year contract extension could work out for both sides

Cooper Kupp contract extension prediction:

  • Total Value: Five years, $137.5 million
  • Average Annual Value: $27.5 million per season
  • Fully Guaranteed: $65 million