THOUSAND OAKS, Calif. — Not long after the Los Angeles Rams finished their second day of minicamp Wednesday, offensive coordinator Liam Coen gestured into the team’s training facility.
He was asked how quarterback Matthew Stafford and wide receiver Cooper Kupp were working together this offseason, since Stafford isn’t throwing yet as he works his way back from an elbow injury.
“They’re in there before meetings watching film together, after practice watching film together, and I think that chemistry, obviously, goes a long way,” Coen said.
“And you can see it, the way they communicate on the field. Cooper has always been able to do that. He’s had that. He can see the game through a quarterback’s lens and now having Matthew give it through his lens and his experience and how he sees it, it’s really just taken off. And it’s really cool to watch.”
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The connection showed later as Kupp signed — while wearing a Stafford jersey! — a three-year, $80 million contract extension, tying him to the Rams through the 2026 season. He was the latest to sign a new deal, joining Stafford in March and defensive tackle Aaron Donald on Monday. By extending Kupp, the Rams tie his future to Stafford’s, giving them a chance to build on their Super Bowl season for years to come.
En route to last season’s championship, Kupp finished the regular season with 145 catches for 1,947 yards and 16 touchdowns. He led the league in all three categories — the receiving triple crown — becoming just the fourth player since the 1970 merger to accomplish the feat. Kupp also caught two touchdowns in Super Bowl LVI and was named MVP.
Hours before Kupp signed his contract extension, Stafford was asked how he and Kupp could possibly improve what they accomplished a year ago.
“That’s an unbelievable year,” Stafford said. “You can’t sit there and go, ‘Well, the only thing to do now is go for 2,500 yards and I’ll throw for 7,000.’ That’s unrealistic. You go out there and try to find ways to improve that are probably not going to be noticed by any of you. It’s like, ‘Cooper, where can we find a way to be better that maybe only us two, or guys in our group, know that we’re getting better?’
“His ownership and his understanding of what we’re trying to do on every single play is second to none and I just want to continue to collaborate with him, with Coach [Sean McVay], with everybody.”
While Stafford was quick to point out the season would have “felt different” had the Rams “not come away with the Lombardi” Trophy, it’s clear the pair is crucial to the front office’s vision for the foreseeable future. The Rams have continued to go all-in to try to be the first team since the 2003 and 2004 New England Patriots to repeat as Super Bowl champions.
Along with reworking Donald’s contract and extending Stafford and Kupp, the Rams also signed wide receiver Allen Robinson and linebacker Bobby Wagner in free agency. It wasn’t cheap, either. The Rams gave Stafford $130 million guaranteed, which is the fifth most among quarterbacks. They gave Donald $31.7 million per year, which is the most among non-quarterbacks. And Kupp got $75 million guaranteed, which is the most among wide receivers.
On Tuesday, Kupp reiterated that he wasn’t looking to reset the wide receiver market, but get a contract “that’s great for the team [and] something that’s great for me and my family as well.”
Just one day later, the Rams did just that, further securing the core they hope to find hoisting the Lombardi Trophy in Arizona in February.