Rams announce punter contract extension in the best way possible
Punters are getting PAID in St. Louis.
The St. Louis Rams just announced a new six-year, $18 million contract with $9 million guaranteed for punter Johnny Hekker. But they didn’t just send out some boring ass press release to do it.
The subject line read:
PUNTERS GET PAID LIKE PEOPLE, TOO
Damn, right. That’s the highest guaranteed amount for any punter or kicker in the NFL. The nod to Rich Eisen’s “punters are people too” awareness campaign makes it that much better.
We spoke with Hekker back in August, where he touched on the benefits of being an NFL punter (hint: he has lots of time to draw).
Hekker also has a reputation for trick plays, slinging the ball when the Rams offense can’t get it done (which is often). The Rams made note of that in the release too.
ST. LOUIS – The St. Louis Rams announced Friday that P Johnny Hekker, who is tied for the NFL lead in completion percentage this season, has signed a six-year extension that will keep him with the team through the 2020 season. Prior to signing the new deal, Hekker was scheduled to become a restricted free agent at the end of the 2014 campaign.
In three seasons with the Rams, Hekker has become one of the NFL’s top special teams players, both with his foot and his arm. He earned All-Pro and Pro Bowl honors following the 2013 season after setting an NFL single-season record for net punting average in a season (44.2).
Hekker’s career net average of 41.9 yards per punt is the third best in the NFL since he arrived in 2012, and opponents are averaging just 6.7 yards per return against him, which is the second lowest in that time frame. This season, Hekker’s 41.4 net average ranks sixth in the NFL.
The Rams have regularly taken advantage of Hekker’s ability as a passer. The former high school quarterback has completed five of his six career passes. Each of his completions have resulted in successful fakes, one of which went for a touchdown in a 2012 win over Seattle. Hekker is 2-for-2 passing this season, and he boasts a perfect career passer rating (158.3).
A native of Bothell, Wash., Hekker joined the Rams as an undrafted free agent in 2012 following a standout career at Oregon State University.
Pretty savvy move by the Rams. Los Angeles is going to love this team.