ST. LOUIS, Mo. — Tavon Austin and the Rams reportedly have agreed to terms on the rookie receiver’s contract, according to NFL.com’s Ian Rapoport.
The former West Virginia star and No. 8 overall pick should earn around $12.6 million over four seasons, with the team holding an option for the fifth year. While Austin’s salary — including a signing bonus of $7.65 million — was slotted by the latest collective bargaining agreement, his deal was made more favorable because it includes no offset language.
That means if the Rams opt to release Austin after his third year, they must still pay him the remaining value of his rookie contract in addition to whatever his new team offers. Teams prefer to include offset language, which transfers the onus of the remaining rookie-contract value to the next team and invariably costs the player money because it prevents him from double-dipping.
The 5-foot-8 Austin projects to be a high-impact component of the Rams offense this season, being utilized in the same ways that made him a multi-dimensional legend at WVU. As elusive as he has been on the field, Austin said his pending riches have forced him to dodge countless people from his hometown of Baltimore.
“Everybody expects a lot of things from you as far as money,” he told the Rams website recently. “Everybody wants to be around you. My phone doesn’t stop ringing now. It feels like they’re counting my bank account now.
“I’ve got a lot of cousins now. The whole (city of) Baltimore is my cousin now. We’re going to just try to keep focused and let my mother and all of them handle it.”
The St. Louis Post-Dispatch reported the Rams reached deals with all seven of its 2013 draft picks, including third-rounder Stedman Bailey.