According to ESPN’s Adam Schefter, the Rams have signed Pro Bowl punter Johnny Hekker to a 6-year, $18 million extension, with $9 million guaranteed. The guaranteed money is the highest ever for a punter or kicker.
He deserves it!
Rams signed Pro-Bowl P Johnny Hekker to 6-year, $18 million extension, including $9 million guaranteed, highest guarantee given to a P or K.— Adam Schefter (@AdamSchefter) December 5, 2014
In Week 4 of his rookie season , Hekker threw a 2-yard touchdown pass to Danny Amendola. He was the first Rams’ punter to do so.
The following week, he set a franchise record for gross punting average in a single game [56.9], beating the old mark held by Donnie Jones [56.0].
On December 29, 2013 Hekker would break the single-season record for net punt yards with 44.2, which was previously held by 49ers' punter Andy Lee [44.0].
Earlier this season, he threw a beautiful pass on a fake punt to Benny Cunningham. The play kept the game alive for the Rams, who would go on to win that game against the Seahawks, 28-26.
(UPDATE at 3:08pm ET)
Here's the official release from the team:
PUNTERS GET PAID LIKE PEOPLE, TOO
Rams sign NFL’s completion percentage leader to six-year extension
ST. LOUIS – The St. Louis Rams announced Friday that P Johnny Hekker, who is tied for the NFL lead in completion percentage this season, has signed a six-year extension that will keep him with the team through the 2020 season. Prior to signing the new deal, Hekker was scheduled to become a restricted free agent at the end of the 2014 campaign.
In three seasons with the Rams, Hekker has become one of the NFL’s top special teams players, both with his foot and his arm. He earned All-Pro and Pro Bowl honors following the 2013 season after setting an NFL single-season record for net punting average in a season (44.2).
Hekker’s career net average of 41.9 yards per punt is the third best in the NFL since he arrived in 2012, and opponents are averaging just 6.7 yards per return against him, which is the second lowest in that time frame. This season, Hekker’s 41.4 net average ranks sixth in the NFL.
The Rams have regularly taken advantage of Hekker’s ability as a passer. The former high school quarterback has completed five of his six career passes. Each of his completions have resulted in successful fakes, one of which went for a touchdown in a 2012 win over Seattle. Hekker is 2-for-2 passing this season, and he boasts a perfect career passer rating (158.3).
A native of Bothell, Wash., Hekker joined the Rams as an undrafted free agent in 2012 following a standout career at Oregon State University.