It’s been a busy week for the Los Angeles Rams front office, and no, not because of Aaron Donald reasons. The Rams have went out and extended P Johnny Hekker through the 2022 season:
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
Can you really be mad at this? I mean, as long as you aren’t Donald of course. Hekker has been an incredible weapon for the Rams since joining them as a UDFA out of Oregon State in 2012. He’s been a three time pro-bowler, and a three time all-pro. Hekker is widely known and accepted as the league’s best Punter, and now there really is no doubt about it.
The Rams initially signed Hekker to a six-year deal in 2014 before the third year of his rookie contract was up, but this adds another two years on top of that deal.
A few reasons for the extension? Well, here:
- In 2013, Johnny Hekker broke the single season record for net punt yards average at 44.2 yards per punt. That can be attributed to Coach Bones, Hekker himself, and the punt teams coverage unit.
- In the 2015 season, Hekker once again led the league in net punting average.
- In 2016, he also set a record for punts downed inside the 20 with 51.
This move, along with the recent move to extend DE Ethan Westbrooks for another year, seem to be pushing money around. With several key contract decisions coming in the 2018 offseason and one notable holdout already concluded, one wouldn’t be necessarily wrong for considering if these moves are being done to free up space for a certain mega-deal...
As it stands, Johnny Hekker is the best punter in the NFL. He’ll be a Rams for years to come.