Contract year = Breakout year
So it’s one thing to point up and assert that is where Cooper Kupp’s season is heading, but what does that mean in terms of hard numbers? Ah, that’s the trick after all, isn’t it? Well, Kupp was the 12th most productive receiver in 2019.
That ranking improves dramatically if we simply follow the current rate of improvement demonstrated in his first three NFL seasons. Keep in mind that 2018 reflected only eight games due to a season-ending ACL injury. His 2019 season resumed exactly where he left off in 2018. That allows some projections for 2020, and they are very good numbers.
Let’s dust off the crystal ball and try to project what that means in 2020…
Season Targets Completions Yards TDs YPT YPC No. Off. Snaps
2017 94 62 869 5 9.24 14.02 736
2018 55 40 566 6 10.29 14.15 439
2019 134 94 1,161 10 8.66 12.35 884
2020 160 115 1,440 14 9.00 12.52 900
If these projections hold, Cooper Kupp would be pushing for the top wide receiver in the NFL in 2020. And that is a season heading into his contract year with the team. So what type of pressure would be on the Rams if he could put up those sort of numbers in 2020?
Well, the Rams had signed WR Brandin Cooks to a mega-deal of five-years and $81 million after just a 1,082 yard seven TD season. So extrapolating the Kupp deal would project somewhere in the order of five years and $100 million, or an average salary cost of $20 million / year for the next five seasons. Those are Julio Jones type of salary dollars and would be a good deal in tomorrow’s dollars.