The Rams have signed receiver Tavon Austin to a four-year contract extension, the team announced Saturday, a few hours before playing the Denver Broncos in its third preseason game.
The deal is worth $42 million, with $30 million guaranteed, according to a report by ESPN. Austin is now under contract through the 2021 season.
Austin, 25, was the eighth pick in the 2013 NFL draft. He is the top receiver for an offense that ranked last in the NFL in total offense and passing offense in 2015.
Last season, the 5-foot-8, 176-pound Austin caught a career-best 52 passes for 473 yards and five touchdowns. He also rushed for 434 yards and four touchdowns in 52 carries, and scored on a punt return.
“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.”
In May, the Rams picked up the fifth-year options on Austin and linebacker Alec Ogletree, who also was selected in the first round of the 2013 draft.
Austin is the most productive member of a receiving corps that includes veterans Kenny Britt and Brian Quick as well as rookie Pharoh Cooper.
Austin, who played in college at West Virginia, had 40 receptions as a rookie, three for touchdowns. In 2014, he had 31 catches, none for touchdowns.
The Rams released a statement from Austin during halftime of the preseason game.
“Awesome. It feels good that I’m still calling this place home – and that’s the main thing,” Austin’s statement said. “I’m happy to be back with (Head) Coach (Jeff) Fisher and the family. I thank everybody. I’m still here, and I’m still going to be giving them 100 percent, day-in and day-out. I always do.”