Tight end Tyler Higbee agreed to a four-year contract extension worth $31,025,000 with the Los Angeles Rams on Thursday.
A person with knowledge of the deal says Higbee is guaranteed $15.5 million and could make $36 million over the course of the contract, which runs through the 2023 season. The person spoke on condition of anonymity because the terms weren't publicly disclosed by the team.
Higbee was thrilled with his new deal, even if he didn't realize the Rams had made him one of the top 10 highest-paid tight ends in the NFL.
"The culture that's around here is great," Higbee said. "Everybody that is in this locker room is great. Everybody deserves everything. Everybody wants to work hard, and it's good to see guys stay around."
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Higbee has played in every game during his three seasons with the Rams, who drafted him in the fourth round out of Western Kentucky in 2016. He has 60 career catches for 672 yards and four touchdowns, and he is a dependable blocker on runs and passes.
Higbee had four catches in the NFC championship game in New Orleans last season. He didn't make a reception in the Super Bowl.
"A lot of the contributions that he made are incredibly selfless plays," Rams coach Sean McVay said. "And then when he did get his opportunities as the year progressed, you saw the production and he delivered in a big way. He had a lot of big-time catches for us in some crucial moments."
McVay's offense doesn't typically make extensive use of a tight end as a receiver, but Higbee and fellow tight end Gerald Everett have both made key receptions for the Rams during his tenure. Higbee is content to continue his supporting role with the chance to chip in.
"We've got a lot of weapons in this offense," Higbee said. "Some of the numbers might not be there, but I'm a contributing factor to this offense and some of the success that we've had, and I hope to continue to keep doing that."
Higbee's deal is the latest in a series of long-term contracts reached by the Rams, who are determined to lock in most of the core of their NFC championship roster through its prime.
Jared Goff got a $110 million guarantee in his new contract this week, joining teammates Todd Gurley, Aaron Donald and Brandin Cooks in long-term deals with the Rams. McVay and general manager Les Snead also got contract extensions earlier this year.
"One of the things that gets overlooked on the football field is having that continuity, having the chemistry between players on the team," Higbee said. "Trusting the guy next to you, wanting to play for the guy next to you. It says a lot, and I think it's some of the reason we've had success."