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4 veteran receivers the Rams could consider as Cooper Kupp insurance

Hamstring injuries can be lingering, with some veteran talent still available, could LA want some extra insurance?

Las Vegas Raiders Training Camp Photo by Ethan Miller/Getty Images

Cooper Kupp’s injury has been dominating the headlines since he limped off the practice field Tuesday night. Fans feared for the worst when head coach Sean McVay had no update on the Los Angeles Rams receiver, saying “I’m not sure,” when asked about the nature of Kupp’s injury. “I haven’t talked to those guys yet, so I don’t know.”

On Wednesday though it was confirmed that Kupp seemed to have only tweaked his hamstring, avoiding a potentially more serious non-contact injury. While that’s good news, it’s still a bittersweet diagnosis, as hamstring injuries can tend to linger through out the season if not healed properly.

Kupp is by far quarterback Matthew Stafford’s go to guy and his extensive usage over the last two years may be starting to wear on his body, especially considering that he also missed half of last season, and OTAs this year, due to an ankle injury.

Is it possible the Rams would consider bringing in a veteran wide receiver for some extra insurance incase Kupp’s injury is one that effects his play through the first few weeks of the season? Here are a few still available that could help out:

Kenny Golladay

Kenny Golladay was a third round pick out of Northern Illinois University with the Detroit Lions in 2017. He quickly moved up the depth chart, having a knack for contested catches and high pointing the ball. In just his first four years in the league, Golladay amassed 183 receptions, 3,068 yards and 21 touchdowns and he did all this with a very familiar quarterback to LA, Matthew Stafford.

New York Giants v Detroit Lions Photo by Rey Del Rio/Getty Images

Stafford and Golladay played together from 2017-2020 and have shown that they can have a strong connection. Much like his usage with Kupp, Stafford went to Golladay early and often in the motor city. Golladay left Detroit in 2020 to sign a large contract with the New York Giants, but unfortunately his last two seasons in the big apple were pretty forgettable.

His lack of performance in New York means Los Angeles would most likely be able to pick up the veteran wide receiver at a very low price tag. His last few seasons have not been stellar but if he can stir up the magic him and Stafford put together in Detroit, Golladay could have a chance to resurrect his career in LA and give the Rams some extra help, while not rushing Kupp back.

Jarvis Landry

Jarvis Landry has been a very solid wide receiver through out his career. He has played for the Miami Dolphins, Cleveland Browns and most recently the New Orleans Saints, with his best year coming in 2019 with Cleveland where he had 1,174 yards and six touchdowns.

Cleveland Browns v Cincinnati Bengals Photo by Dylan Buell/Getty Images

Landry is a player Los Angeles would most likely look into if Kupp was going to miss more than already expected. He can play any of the wide receiver positions, and like Kupp, is a gritty player who’s technical in his route running.

He is going into his 10th season, but can still be a capable player in the slot. What Landry brings most to the table most is his leadership and veteran presence, which the Rams could welcome in a younger wide receiver room.

Landry could still warrant a relatively higher price tag compared to some of the other free agency wide receivers left, but with his age and down season in New Orleans, it’s possible it could still be a reasonable deal, especially if he was expected to play meaningful snaps.

Sammy Watkins

Sammy Watkins is a familiar face with Los Angeles, first joining the team back in 2017. Watkins had some success in Sean McVay’s first iteration of the offense, totaling 593 yards and eight touchdowns in his lone season with the team.

Los Angeles Rams v Tennessee Titan Photo by Wesley Hitt/Getty Images

The Rams are looking to go back to their roots a bit, recommitting to the run game and play action pass, so Watkins could fit in nicely as a depth piece familiar with the innerworkings of the offense. Watkins has mostly been a role player the last few years of his career, he started last season with the Green Bay Packers before being cut and picked up by the Baltimore Ravens on waivers.

Watkins would, again, be a budget option that brings over nine years of NFL experience, including some in McVay’s system specifically. With his age and play the last few seasons, his contract would most likely be one the Rams could get out of upon Kupp’s return if they wanted. I think Watkins is probably the least likely option out of the three, but his connection with McVay makes it a possibility.

Hunter Renfrow via trade

Hunter Renfrow has been compared to Cooper Kupp his entire career, so it makes sense that his name would come up as a potential player to fill in during Kupp’s absence. Both players are very similar in style, speed, route running ability and are dangerous in the red zone.

Kansas City Chiefs v Las Vegas Raiders Photo by Jeff Bottari/Getty Images

Renfrow is a Pro Bowl receiver that has played some good football, including a nine touchdown, 1,038 yard breakout season in 2021.

There are a few hang-ups when it comes to Renfrow, the first being that he is still currently on the Las Vegas Raiders roster, so the move would need to be done via trade. The second issue is that Renfrow was awarded a two year extension worth $31 million after the 2021 season, and has a $13 million dollar price tag for this coming year alone.

Renfrow has been rumored to be on the trade block all offseason, and if Las Vegas is trying to move him, they may be willing to eat some of the money owed to the 5th year receiver if it helps make a deal to LA work. Renfrow is different from the other wideouts listed, as he would come in as a starter, and potentially overtake Van Jefferson upon Kupp’s return.