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Cooper Kupp: Contract extension product of those who poured into him, Rams teammates around him

THOUSAND OAKS, Calif. – The individual success, the team success and the ensuing new contract had a lot to do with Cooper Kupp's own drive and work ethic.

Yet as he reflected on his recently-signed, 3-year extension, he thought more about those around him who put him in position to be that successful.

"I wasn't really thinking of anyone – I was trying to remember what my signature was, what date it was," Kupp said with a smile during a video conference Thursday. "No, I mean, really I was thinking of all the people that have been a part of my life who have poured into me. In one way or another, there are so many people that have hand in making me who I am today as a person, as a father, as a husband and as a football player. There's so many people, and I was just thinking of how many people I've come in contact with, that have influenced me in a positive way and are important to me."

Fittingly, two of those reminders were with him when he signed his new contract on Wednesday.

His wife, Anna, who worked full-time in college to support the couple and allow Kupp to focus on football, sat to his right. While signing, he wore a replica Matthew Stafford jersey as a tribute to the quarterback that played a pivotal role in his triple-crown-winning 2021 season.

"I thought it was kind of a cool thing. Certainly, he's one of those people that's had a hand in being able to be in this place and have the opportunity to extend my career here in Los Angeles and be able to sign that contract," said Kupp, whose 145 receptions, 1,947 receiving yards and 16 receiving touchdowns all led the NFL last year. "Obviously, your quarterback plays a huge role in that. A little bit of a nod to Matthew Stafford in that way."

The Rams front office – that drafted Kupp and believed in him five years ago – was publicly vocal about wanting to get an extension done for Kupp. General manager Les Snead was the latest to convey that urgency when he said on Monday's Rich Eisen Show that they would love to get it done "before (training) camp. We'd love to do it sooner than possible," two days before that new contract was signed.

Anytime Kupp was asked about a potential extension or new deal this offseason, he never expressed concern. When the Rams made it clear getting one done was a priority, it meant a lot to him.

"I'm so thankful for this organization and the coaching staff, up to the front office," Kupp said. "This is an organization I want to be a part of for a long time, so to have those people who I have a lot of respect for be able to show me that they want me to be here, that this was a priority for them, I'm incredibly grateful for that and I don't take that lightly."

Kupp said he understands that there was a lot that was out of his control of his career in his life and that "God had his hand in things that fell into place for me." There's a humility to this milestone because he knows he and his family did not reach it alone.

But before they look forward to this next chapter of their lives, Kupp has some summer plans to tend to first before getting back to the grind.

"I need to take my wife somewhere, that's regardless whether the deal got done or not. That's something that needs to happen," Kupp said. "We're figuring that out right now. And then we got some stuff we want to do on the weekends, be able to take the boys out to Yellowstone, or go make some road trips see (and) see some of the incredible things in this world, in terms of creation, that we want to experience."

In celebration of Los Angeles wide receiver Cooper Kupp's birthday, take a look through the best photos of his Triple Crown, NFL Offensive Player of the Year & Super Bowl MVP-winning season.

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