Just hours before they took the field against the reigning Super Bowl Champion Denver Broncos, the Los Angeles Rams announced they had signed receiver Tavon Austin to a four-year contract extension.
For those Hard Knocks viewers, Austin is the 5-foot-8, mouthy receiver who developed cramps on the first day of training camp and had to be carted off the field.
The deal means that Austin will remain with the Rams organization through the 2021 season. The deal is reportedly worth 4-years, $42 million with $30 million of it guaranteed.
The 25-year-old slot receiver was the eighth pick in the 2013 NFL Draft and has been the top-rated receiver for the Rams in the 2015 season.
Austin caught a career-high 52 passes for 473 yards and five touchdowns last seasons and also rushed 52 times for 434 yards. Austin also handles the team's punt and kickoff return duties.
"Tavon has been an integral part of our offense and special teams since we drafted him in 2013," said head coach Jeff Fisher. "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's contract extension will make the Rams better as the organization now has solidified the slot position for years to come and can focus on improving other areas of the team through the draft and free agency. It also helps No. 1 overall draft pick Jared Goff who can develop a rapport and chemistry with Austin for the next five years.
In 2015, Austin tied Rookie of the Year running back Todd Gurley for the most touchdowns on the team with 10, the first time the team had two different players score double-digit touchdowns since 2006.
Austin has 19 total touchdowns in his three year career, tied for the third most among the 2013 draft class.