THOUSAND OAKS, Calif. – It is seemingly rare this day and age for a team to give a player a third contract.
In that regard, Rams right tight end Tyler Higbee on Friday found himself in select company when the Rams rewarded him with a 2-year contract extension – his second extension signed since being drafted by the team in 2016.
"Just very blessed," Higbee said. "I try to come in here and earn my job, earn my spot every day, and work hard. I put everything I have into playing this game that I love and this organization and give everything I got. Takes a lot of time away from my family at home, but it's what I love to do, and it takes all of that to be able to have success at this level."
Higbee's extension keeps him under contract in Los Angeles through the 2025 season and was signed in the midst of being in the final year of his first extension – a four-year deal he signed leading into the 2019 season.
In the first year of that first extension (2019), he broke the Rams' franchise record for receptions by a tight end in a single season with 69, then broke his own record in 2022 with 72. Over that time, he also became the franchise record-holder for career receptions (317), receiving yards (3,239) and receiving touchdowns (20).
In 2023, he was voted a team captain for the first time by his teammates.
Meanwhile, he has played 660 regular season snaps in 6 of his 8 seasons and started in 116 of 125 games played across the regular season and playoffs, a nod to his toughness shown throughout his time in L.A.
"Well, it's not exclusive to just this year. It's who he's been," Rams head coach Sean McVay said of Higbee's extension. "I've been fortunate to be around Tyler for seven years now. He is a glue guy for this team. Really cool to see him honored as a captain, voted on by his teammates this year. He epitomizes a lot of the things that we're looking for in Rams, mentally and physically tough, loves to compete. He's got versatility. We ask a lot of our tight ends. He sets the example every single day. I love Tyler Higbee. Really happy for him and that's a good thing for us."
McVay said what makes Higbee a good for Los Angeles' offense is he goes about the work the right way, his size, his skillset and his ability to play all over the formation, as well as his intelligence.
"I got a real appreciation when I first started coaching, you get an opportunity to coach the tight ends," McVay said, referring to his time coaching the position in Washington. "Working with a guy like (former Washington tight end) Chris Cooley and the versatility that he had. Tyler kind of approaches the game similar to Chris. Even though their style is a little bit different, but both those guys have the ability to compete in-line. They can play in the slot. They can play opened up from the formation. They're good in protection if you're asking them to do that, and you've seen that reflected from Tyler in all three of the games that we've played this year. That's been a consistent thing that he's shown throughout the course of his career. The things that you don't see when he's playing is the way that he handles himself, the way that he connects and cares about his teammates, the way that he models the way every single day. I love Tyler Higbee and really happy for him and his family."
And because of that hard work, Higbee and his family get to enjoy more long-term security and the chance for him to finish his career with the Rams.
"Yeah, it's amazing," Higbee said. "I mean, I got an 11-month-old daughter now, so (I've) started a family. Being able to have a little bit security, just being out here. Again, we've grown to love this community, this area and this team. I want to thank (Owner/Chairman) Mr. (E. Stanley) Kroenke for giving me this opportunity, the coaching staff, our front office. Just grateful and very blessed."