The Rams announced on Monday the extension of DL Ethan Westbrooks and punter Johnny Hekker.
Westbrooks, a 2014 UDFA out of West Texas A&M, signed back then a three year $1,550,000 contract; in April of the current year, the Rams managed to sign the RFA to a $1,797,000 deal that would link the player with the organization for one more year (reported by Ian Rapoport). In efforts to create much-needed cap space that will be used to sign Aaron Donald among other players, the front office offered Westbrooks a new contract extension through 2018, that will lower his 2017 salary from $1,797,000 to $1,250,000 but will earn him $1,750,000 in 2018. Westbrooks has shown signs throughout his career of being a capable starter, is a tremendous depth sign for an already killer Defensive line.
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Hekker, who already had an extension encouraged by his outstanding game with the previous regime, signed a new contract extension that would leave the best punter in league with the Rams through 2022. Johnny established an NFL record of 51punts landing inside the 20, no other punter in history has had more than 40, showing the fantastic value to a team that has struggled in moving the ball in the past.RSS Feed
Former NFL punter Pat McAfee analyzed one of Hekker’s punts yesterday, remarking his amazing capabilities at the position, naming him “the best punter in the league.”
His contract is now worth $21 million, including $10,000,000 in guaranteed money, the highest ever given to a punter in history, pointed out by Adam Schefter of ESPN.
By locking these two players for the foreseeable future, the Rams now seek to reach calm waters with Aaron Donald and will keep trying to extend the 4th year player.
Let’s remember that Tavon Austin was signed to a significant extension last season that he hasn’t lived up. Next year he will become expendable, as he would “only” count for $8,000,000 against the cap, and there are other players more fundamental to the core of this team that will seek an extension, names like Alec Ogletree, Trumaine Johnson, SAMMY WATKINS (there, I said it) have more impact in the team system than the former 8th overall.