Prior to the third preseason game versus the defending Super Bowl champion Denver Broncos, the Los Angeles Rams made quite the investment in one of the members of their struggling receiving corps.
Despite struggles early on in his career, receiver Tavon Austin’s versatile skill set as well as his outspoken leadership have made him an instrumental part of the offense moving forward. So much so, Los Angeles has officially locked up the former West Virginia standout through 2021 according to Adam Schefter of ESPN:
Rams and WR Tavon Austin reach agreement on 4-year, $42 million extension including $30M gtd, per source. Incentives can take deal to $52M.
— Adam Schefter (@AdamSchefter) August 27, 2016
The Rams traded up from the 16th overall pick to take the young playmaker with the eighth overall pick in the 2013 NFL Draft. Now, it seems head coach Jeff Fisher is adamant that Austin will be able to contribute to this team moving forward according to Alden Gonzalez of ESPN:
“Tavon has been an integral part of our offense and special teams since we drafted him in 2013,” said Fisher. “It is important to our organization to retain players we’ve drafted and invested in, and Tavon is an example of that. We’re excited for him to continue his career with the Rams.”
This deal may come us a surprise considering Austin still has yet to break through as the Rams primary pass-catcher. However, he did show vast signs of improvement last year, hauling in career-highs in nearly every statistical category.
Regardless of Austin’s struggles thus far, one would be hard-pressed to find another player who can impact the game in as many ways as he can and the Rams seem to feel the same.