A large mural of quarterback Jared Goff was among those painted Friday at Belvedere Elementary School in East Los Angeles, where more than 150 members of the Rams organization installed a new playground structure and helped beautify the campus during its annual community improvement project.
So it was fitting that Sean McVay addressed school officials and volunteers in front of the image.
In the aftermath of a massive contract extension signed last week by Philadelphia Eagles quarterback Carson Wentz, chosen second in the 2016 NFL draft behind Goff, speculation has swirled about when the Rams will do the same for their quarterback, who has helped the Rams win two division titles and advance to the Super Bowl last season.
Rams officials have said that it could happen before the upcoming season or before the 2020 season, the final year of Goff’s rookie contract. General manager Les Snead on Friday indicated that the Rams and Goff’s representation firm, which also represents Wentz, have had preliminary discussions about a possible timeline for further talks.
“Nothing heavy,” he said. “No heavy lifting.”
But Snead, McVay and chief operating officer Kevin Demoff have said they want Goff for the long term.
“If a quarterback can prove he can win in this league — win two division championships and get to a Super Bowl — I think it’s obvious that at some point he will get a long-term contract from the Rams,” Snead said.
Players’ contracts count against the salary cap. Contracts of coaches — and general managers — do not.
So is McVay in line for an extension?
McVay, 33, has succeeded beyond expectations. He changed the Rams’ culture, was voted NFL coach of the year after his first season and helped develop Goff into a star.
Seattle Seahawks coach Pete Carroll last December signed an extension that will pay him about $11 million per year, according to reports. Oakland Raiders coach Jon Gruden reportedly earns $10 million, and New Orleans Saints coach Sean Payton $9 million, according to reports. All have won Super Bowls.
McVay is not in that class … yet.
Asked whether the Rams were pursuing an extension with McVay, Demoff said the focus was on “making sure the players we need to extend are done.” He said McVay had done “an amazing job” in his first two years, on and off the field.
“Becoming a face of the team in Los Angeles and, really, becoming one of the faces of the NFL, is everything you hope when you go into the head coaching process,” Demoff said. “Not just to find a great coach but to find an amazing leader and steward for our franchise.
“As you go to make sure that your [core] players are here for a long time, obviously the goal is to make sure your coaching staff is here a long time. ... Our goal is always to make sure this group can stay together for as long as possible.”
Snead’s future was regarded as tenuous after the Rams fired coach Jeff Fisher during the 2016 season. But Snead was part of the contingent that interviewed and aggressively pursued McVay.
Working in concert with the new coach, he signed free agents such as offensive lineman Andrew Whitworth, receiver Robert Woods and defensive lineman Ndamukong Suh, engineered trades for cornerbacks Marcus Peters and Aqib Talib, receiver Brandin Cooks and edge rusher Dante Fowler, and drafted in lower rounds starters such as receiver Cooper Kupp and safety John Johnson.
Snead declined to discuss his contract situation.
“I’d rather not talk about me,” he said, before invoking one of McVay’s buzz phrases. “I’m ‘We not Me.’ ”
Demoff also declined to discuss Snead’s contract, but said said the McVay-Snead pairing has produced excellent results.
“When you have an outstanding owner and outstanding leadership at the head coach and general manager position, you want continuity, you want to build off that,” Demoff said. “There’s no reason that shouldn’t continue in the foreseeable future.”
Follow Gary Klein on Twitter @latimesklein