Time is flying by for Cooper Kupp. It feels like it was just yesterday when he was notified he'd be the 69th-overall pick in the 2017 NFL Draft, taking his talents from Eastern Washington to the Los Angeles Rams, and doing so with many viewing him as a sleeper pick that April. Needless to say, he's proven those who believed in him right, but the 2020 season is the final of his four-year, $3.8 million rookie contract, and he's not blind to that fact. As he and the Rams ready to fire up negotiations for a potential extension that should pay him quite well, the 27-year-old wants to be clear on one thing -- namely, the fact he wants to remain in Los Angeles.
"I love it here," Kupp said, via NFL.com. "I don't want go anywhere,"
That said, he's also seen enough in his three years in the league to know that, at the end of the day, it's a business.
"But, you know, in terms of all the contract stuff, I'm really letting all that stuff be handled by my agent and staying out of it," he added.
The onus is certainly on the Rams to offer up a palatable deal for a player who instantly established himself as the top target for quarterback Jared Goff from Day 1, en route to a breakout 2019 season that saw him deliver 1,161 receiving yards with 10 receiving touchdowns, a team-high in both categories and seven more TDs than second-place Tyler Higbee.
After suffering a torn ACL that derailed his sophomore campaign in 2018, Kupp not only returned to the form that saw him land honors on the PFWA All-Rookie Team, but he found a new gear and his production helped fuel the team's comfort with moving on from Brandin Cooks. With Cooks now in Houston and All-Pro running back Todd Gurley released and taking up residence with the Atlanta Falcons, Kupp might be asked to do even more than he already has -- something he's more than fine with.
Robert Woods, who had the second-most receiving yards for the Rams in 2019 (1,134) in tandem with Kupp, believes there's much more to come from his compatriot and the passing attack as a whole.
"To just be able pick up where we left off and be even more dominant, that's the biggest goal of our whole receiving corps," Wood said. "Not only to do what we did last year, but to be even more dominant in the passing game and the running game. To make bigger plays. You know, we break a few tackles, but we want to break them all.
"That's our goal this upcoming season -- to make every guy miss and score when we can."
Kupp himself has become known as a receiver who routinely does just that, his crisp routes and slippery YAC demeanor making him a nightmare to defend, as evidenced by 538 of his yards in 2019 having come after he had the ball in his hands. And as he enters the final year of his contract, the Rams would like to keep those abilities tied to Goff for the foreseeable future.
They'll be happy to know he feels the same way.