Rams celebrate Week 1 win by reportedly giving their punter a record contract
Johnny Hekker is one of the game's best punters, so now he's getting paid like it
On Monday, the Rams made a deal that sent shockwaves throughout the entire NFC West when they made sure one of their best players won't be leaving anytime soon. The Rams announced that they gave their punter, Johnny Hekker, a two-year extension, which will keep him in Los Angeles through the 2022 season (unless he gets cut or traded, or the Rams decide to move again because nobody is showing up to their games).
According to ESPN's Adam Schefter, the Rams gave Hekker $10 million guaranteed, which is a record for a punter.
Rams signed Johnny Hekker to 2-year extension, tying him to LA for 6 seasons, giving him $10M gtd, highest punter guarantee ever, per source— Adam Schefter (@AdamSchefter) September 11, 2017
So for Johnny Hekker, it's now six years for $21 million, including $10 million guaranteed, the highest guarantee given to a punter.— Adam Schefter (@AdamSchefter) September 11, 2017
Sarcasm aside, Hekker is the best punter in the game and every other team around the league would love to have him. Last year, he ranked fifth in punting average (47.8), first in net (46.0), first in punts inside the 20-yard line (51), and tied for first in longest punt (78 yards).
He also might be the second-best quarterback on the Rams' roster, having complete 7 of 12 passes for 103 yards, a touchdown, and a 114.2 passer rating in his career. Seriously, look at him sling it:
Hekker's 2017 season got off to a fantastic start. On Sunday, all five of his punts were downed inside the 20-yard line and he did something so unique that it took a former punter, Pat McAfee, to catch the trick and explain what he did. Here's the video of McAfee explaining it, but it contains NSFW language.
Below, our Will Brinson transcribed a portion of what McAfee said.
"So Johnny Hekker is a monster. Very good punter -- probably the best punter in the game right now. He dropped this, he dropped this ball sideways to try and make it spin right," McAfee explained. "I've never seen anyone have the balls to do this in a game, because if you miss this it's going like 7 yards. So he drops this thing -- you see this thing? It is completely sideways. He's trying to hit it in a chopper style so it will bounce right."
Congrats to Hekker -- both for the punt and the $10 million. Hopefully, the Rams give him a few more chances to show off his arm this year.
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