THOUSAND OAKS, Calif. – The wide receiver market exploded this offseason, with players like the Raiders' Davante Adams and the Dolphins' Tyreek Hill getting record-setting deals from their new teams. Consequently, several receivers viewed as candidates for extensions are standing pat until they get new contracts.
Of course, every player is entitled to whatever approach they feel is best. These workouts right now are voluntary, after all. However, when it came to balancing that attendance for the Rams' offseason program with his own negotiations for a new contract, Cooper Kupp felt it was best to be around the facility as the Rams began their initial preparation for defending their Super Bowl title.
"I think it's important for me to be here, be around guys and be around this team," Kupp said. "The goal at the end of the day is to win a world title, whatever is gonna get us in a place where we can go and compete for another world title to put us in a better position where we can be a better football team. And that's the goal. I think the best thing that I can do is to be here and be a part of that as this thing kind of starts to get implemented and starts to grow."
Kupp led the NFL in receptions, receiving yards and receiving touchdowns in 2021, becoming the league's fourth receiving triple-crown winner since the merger in 1970. He later earned Super Bowl MVP for his performance in the Rams' 23-20 victory over the Bengals at SoFi Stadium on Feb. 13 and also broke former Cowboys wide receiver Michael Irvin's NFL record with 13 games between the regular season and playoffs with 100 or more receiving yards.
Rams head coach Sean McVay has also publicly said Kupp has earned the right to be rewarded with a new deal. Yet for all that success he achieved, Kupp said it's not his approach to becoming the highest-paid wide receiver in the NFL.
Kupp instead wants a deal that would be fair for both sides rather than one that tops already lucrative contracts received by his peers.
"I'm not trying to beat anybody," Kupp said. "I'm not trying to compare myself to anyone else. It's more of just being in a place that is just right for both sides."
McVay said Tuesday the Rams continue to have "good dialogue" with both Kupp and defensive lineman Aaron Donald as they work toward new deals for both players.
While those negotiations continue, Kupp will be at the facility for the offseason workout program – and enjoying some unexpected benefits of attending. He also understands different players will take different approaches when it comes to those processes.
"Some guys do different approaches, I'm not saying one approach is better than another," Kupp said. "But I think being able to be here, being able to hide Sean's hair gel in the morning, little nuisance-type things like hide (Rams general manager) Les (Snead)'s bike, you know? Can you do some stuff that just kind of bothers them, like can he only open his pin drawer two inches? Doing little things you couldn't do if I wasn't here. So I think being able to be here to give me a more tactical approach to things. I mean, I'm gonna be around my guys. I love the guys I get to play this game with, the coaches I get to work with, so I'm gonna be here and work on being a better football player and being able to put our team in a better place for those right things."