Devil's in the details: Rams latest extension shrewdly adds key incentive clauses

Les Snead. Los Angeles Rams
Les Snead. Los Angeles Rams / Ric Tapia/GettyImages

When the LA Rams signed veteran free agent wide receiver Odell Beckham Jr. to a contract in the middle of the 2022 NFL season, the terms of that deal were such that he had a small base salary, but a number of incentives that kicked in during postseason to make the contract worth nearly $5 million. I recollect thinking to myself at the time how I wished the team would craft more contracts with incentive clauses.

Well, I think that I finally have my wish coming true. The latest contract terms agreed to by the team and veteran free agent Demarcus Robinson invests 20 percent of the overall value of the deal in incentive clauses that are achievable, and yet will be welcomed if Robinson achieves the marks and earns them. So now the question is: What are the terms of the contract?

To answer that question, we turn to Pro Football Talk's Mike Florio, who seems to have the inside scoop on the contract terms for the Rams' recent contract with Robinson. So let's break it all down for you:

  • Signing Bonus - $1.5 million to be paid at the end of April 2024
  • Base Salary - $2.5 million (Remaining balance to $4.0 million)
  • Incentive clauses - Up To $1.0 million as follows: Snap count and/or Playoff/Offensive production. For snap count, Robinson gets a scaled incentive from offensive snap count. For the Playoff/Offensive production clause, Robinson gets a similar scaled incentive payment, but only if the team makes the 2025 NFL Playoffs or if the offense improves its league ranking in total offensive yards. (The LA Rams offense was ranked seventh in total yards in 2023)

So what do we mean by 'scaled incentive,' in this contract. Well, if Demarcus Robinson is used in a certain percentage of offensive snaps, he will earn an incentive payment. If the Rams earn a playoff berth, or if the offense is ranked better than seventh place in total offensive yards, the incentive will double. The steps for offensive snaps are as follows:

Offensive snap count incentive

  • 0 - 34.9 percent - No incentive payment
  • 35 - 44.9 percent - $166,666.67 incentive
  • 45- 49.9 percent - $333.333.33 incentive
  • 50+ percent - $500,000 incentive

Offensive snap count plus playoffs or offensive ranking incentive

  • 0 - 39.9 percent - No incentive payment
  • 40 - 49.9 percent - $166,666.67 incentive
  • 50- 59.9 percent - $333.333.33 incentive
  • 60+ percent - $500,000 incentive

To qualify for the full value of the contract, Demarcus Robinson needs to play at least 60 percent of the team's offensive snaps, and either for the LA Rams to earn a playoff berth or the offense to be ranked at least at sixth place.

In 2023, Robinson played 396 offensive snaps (36 percent), caught 26 of 39 passes for 371 yards and four touchdowns. He even rushed once for 23 yards. While that may not jump off the page, keep in mind that he did not see much involvement with the team's offense until Week 12.

I like this re-signing, and I love this contract. Not only does this result in the team extending a key offensive weapon, but does so in a way that both the player and team benefit from success in 2024.