The Los Angeles Rams have Robert Woods at a bargain thanks to how well he's played since signing with the team as a free agent in 2017. One of the most underrated receivers in football, Woods has recorded back-to-back 1,000-yard seasons with the Rams and has the seventh-most receiving yards (2,353) over the last two seasons. Simply put, Woods has outperformed his five year, $34 million contract -- and is seeking a raise.
"You want to get paid for what you're worth," Woods said, via Greg Beacham of the Associated Press. "I want to play here for the rest of my career."
Woods also said he and the Rams have had preliminary talks on a new contract and even admitted he's happy with his current one. Woods has two years and $18.35 million left on his current deal, which still doesn't put him amongst the top 20 highest-paid players at his position. The touchdown numbers are what may ultimately hurt Woods from getting paid amongst the top-10 receivers in the game, as his eight scores are tied for 43rd in the league over the last two years.
While Woods has outperformed his current deal, can the Rams actually afford to keep him around? Cap space isn't initially a problem for the Rams as Los Angeles has $42,732,083 in available space heading into the 2021 offseason (per Over the Cap), but there are some key players the franchise has to pay. The main one is cornerback Jalen Ramsey, a player Los Angeles gave up two first-round picks for and will have to pay him amongst the highest-paid cornerbacks in the game -- a contract that surpasses the $16,683,333 average annual salary Darius Slay is making with the Philadelphia Eagles (the highest-paid cornerback in the league).
Woods' receiving partner, Cooper Kupp, is also a free agent and is a top target of quarterback Jared Goff. There's a good chance the Rams will look to take care of Kupp before they get on board with giving Woods an extension. If Los Angeles passes on Kupp, then the focus shifts to Woods.
Safety John Johnson and right guard Austin Blythe are also among the top players on the Rams scheduled to hit free agency in 2021. Tight end Gerald Everett will also become a free agent, but the Rams signed Tyler Higbee to an extension last year.
Woods may very well re-sign with Los Angeles but may have to wait a bit before he gets paid.