-- DENVER -- The Los Angeles Rams locked up Tavon Austin to a four-year extension that will keep the dynamic wide receiver with them through the 2021 season, the team announced Saturday, just before its preseason game against the? Denver Broncos.
A source told ESPN NFL Insider Adam Schefter that the deal is worth $42 million, including $30 million guaranteed, and contains incentives that could elevate its value to $52 million.?The deal will be tacked on to Austin's rookie contract, which extends through 2017.
"I'm glad I feel wanted," Austin said after the Rams' 17-9 loss. "And I want to be here. That's the main thing. I'm going to keep on going, day in and day out, be the same Tavon Austin. The same one. I'm really thankful."
Austin, the eighth overall selection in the 2013 draft, significantly increased his production in 2015. A 5-foot-8, 176-pound receiver, he set career highs in receptions (52), yards from scrimmage (907) and touchdowns (10), prompting the Rams to pick up his fifth-year option for 2017 in May.
Now Austin, 25, will be paid like a true No. 1 receiver.
Austin's extension carries an average annual value of $10.5 million, the 12th highest at his position, behind A.J. Green, Alshon Jeffery, Julio Jones, Dez Bryant, Demaryius Thomas, T.Y. Hilton, Doug Baldwin, Keenan Allen, Vincent Jackson, Jeremy Maclin and Larry Fitzgerald.
Austin will make a base salary of $2,143,773 in 2016 and is set to make $12,268,000 in 2017.
"Tavon has been an integral part of our offense and special teams since we drafted him in 2013," Rams coach Jeff Fisher said in a statement. "It is important to our organization to retain players we've drafted and invested in, and Tavon is an example of that. We're excited for him to continue his career with the Rams."
Austin has yet to reach even 500 receiving yards, let alone 1,000. But he is a versatile, primary playmaker for a receiving corps that has been considered among the worst in the NFL. He can impact games as a passer, runner and punt returner, and the Rams seemingly wanted to secure him as the No. 1 target for rookie quarterback? Jared Goff.
Austin's role is expected to increase this season, in the passing game and out of the backfield, under offensive coordinator Rob Boras and new passing game coordinator Mike Groh. His deal was finalized on Saturday morning. And prior to that night's game, Austin found Rams owner Stan Kroenke, who has owned a multitude of sports franchises in the city.
"I hugged him," Austin said. "I told him, 'Thank you.' He helped me and my family out. That's the God-honest truth. He told me I deserve it. I told him I'm going to be a hundred percent, day in and day out. Same person."