Rams sign WR Cooper Kupp to 3-year contract extension

Cooper Kupp has become one of the Rams’ most productive and entertaining players by frequently turning short passes from Jared Goff into long yardage.

Kupp and Rams management connected on a different kind of long gain Saturday morning when they announced agreement on a three-year contract extension that should keep the wide receiver zig-zagging across the SoFi Stadium turf through 2023.

The contract is worth up to $48 million, the NFL Network’s Ian Rapoport reported.

Next to cornerback Jalen Ramsey, who signed a nine-figure contract extension Wednesday, Kupp was the highest priority for Rams executives negotiating with players whose rookie deals expire at the end of the 2020 season.

Like Ramsey, Kupp consistently downplayed the urgency to get a deal done before Sunday night’s season-opening game against the Dallas Cowboys at the Rams’ new stadium in Inglewood.

“There’s so much is going on in the world right now. It’s really not a priority at this time,” Kupp said in April.

This week, after Ramsey’s extension was announced, Kupp said his focus was on getting ready for the game.

“I’d love to be here long-term,” Kupp said.

Now he will be – with a chance to hit free agency when he’s 30 years old.

He has to stay healthy, though.

Kupp’s season was cut short by a knee injury during the Rams’ Super Bowl run in 2018. He returned healthy to catch 94 passes for 1,161 yards in 2019, both team highs, and 10 touchdowns.

Nearly half of his yards were gained after he caught the ball – 538 yards, fourth among NFL wide receivers, with teammate Robert Woods third on the list – highlighted by catch-and-run plays for 66 yards against the Saints and 65 and a touchdown against the Bengals.

Kupp, 27, becomes the 16th highest-paid wide receiver and the fourth highest-paid Rams player behind defensive tackle Aaron Donald, whose six-year contract is worth $135 million; quarterback Jared Goff, who is signed for four years and $134 million, and Ramsey, whose extension Wednesday is for five years and $105 million.

Donald’s, Goff’s and Ramsey’s contracts run through 2025.

Fifth among Rams contracts is Woods’ five years for $34 million in a deal that expires following the 2022 season.

Among other Rams whose rookie contracts expire following the 2020 season are safety John Johnson and tight end Gerald Everett.