Can Rams afford to make Cooper Kupp highest-paid receiver?

The Rams took care of quarterback Matthew Stafford and defensive lineman Aaron Donald and gave both cornerstone players massive contracts.

Next up: Cooper Kupp.

The five-year veteran has had a historic season. He led the NFL in receptions, yards receiving and touchdown catches, becoming the first player since 2005 to earn the Triple Crown.

Kupp was named NFL Offensive Player of the Year and then caught two touchdown passes – including the game winner – in the Rams’ Super Bowl LVI win over the Cincinnati Bengals at SoFi Stadium, earning him Most Valuable Player honors.

Less than two years after Kupp signed an extension that included about $21 million in guarantees, Rams coach Sean McVay and general manager Les Snead said Kupp had been given a new contract.

But how much are the Rams willing to spend?

Donald – for the second time in his career – reshaped the elite defensive player market on Monday when he signed a deal that will reportedly give him a $40 million raise over the next two seasons and make him the highest-paid non quarterback in NFL history makes .

Kupp’s performance last year appears to position him for the richest single-contractor contract in league history.

In recent months, the Miami Dolphins have signed Tyreek Hill to a contract with $72 million in guarantees, according to overthecap.com. Buffalo Bills receiver Stefon Diggs received $70 million in guarantees. The Las Vegas Raiders issued $66 million in guarantees to Davante Adams.

Kupp was asked Tuesday if he was interested in a deal that would reset the market for receivers.

“No,” he said after the first practice session at a mandatory mini-camp, adding, “I’m not trying to compare myself. I’m trying not to say, ‘Okay, where was Tyreek? All these guys making deals, where were all these guys? And I have to be higher than them in certain places.” ”

Kupp said he has no timeline for a new deal. He repeatedly emphasized that he considers the process to be a collaboration with the Rams.

“I want this to be something that we can work on together,” he said. “Something that’s great for the team, something that’s also great for me and my family. This place exists and it’s just getting there.”

Rams receiver Cooper Kupp (left) performs a pattern under the supervision of cornerback Jalen Ramsey during Tuesday's camp.

Rams receiver Cooper Kupp (left) performs a pattern under the supervision of cornerback Jalen Ramsey during Tuesday’s camp.

(Mark J. Terrill / Associated Press)

After the Super Bowl, the Rams quickly agreed a deal with Stafford that could be worth up to $160 million. It took longer for Donald, but the Rams and the three-time NFL Defensive Player of the Year found common ground, culminating in Donald signing a restructured contract.

Donald, who was absent from organized team activity practices, was on the field for the start of the mandatory mini-camp, as was star cornerback Jalen Ramsey. The training was mainly done at a jog-through pace.

Donald said he’s happy to be among teammates and looks forward to preparing for another potential Super Bowl run.

After winning the Super Bowl last February, Donald hinted that he might retire. How close was he to actually doing this?

Donald chuckled.

“We don’t have to worry about that now that I’m here,” he said.

McVay reiterated that he was in constant communication with Donald throughout the process.

“There was never a time when you really thought he was going to retire just because of our interactions,” McVay said.

Donald said he kept himself in peak physical condition.

“I’ll always keep in shape and look good,” he said, “because I like to take my shirt off.”

Etc.

Running back Kyren Williams, a fifth-round draft pick from Notre Dame, required surgery to repair a broken right foot. McVay said he anticipates Williams would be available early in training camp. … McVay married Veronika Khomyn on Saturday. “It was an incredible wedding,” McVay said. “The most important thing is that Veronika had a great weekend.” … Free-agent receiver Odell Beckham Jr. attended the wedding. “He knows the expectation,” McVay joked. “You come to the wedding and you have to sign with the Rams.” McVay chuckled at Beckham’s characterization as a wedding crasher. “He’s been doing the rounds, man,” McVay said. “There were a lot of coaches there. He had an organic free-agent visit. I said, ‘Stay away from all these other coaches, man.’ ”

https://www.latimes.com/sports/rams/story/2022-06-07/rams-contract-cooper-kupp-highest-paid-receiver-nfl Can Rams afford to make Cooper Kupp highest-paid receiver?

Emma Bowman

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