Matthew Stafford, Aaron Donald and Cooper Kupp are not the only members of the Rams parlaying Super Bowl-winning performances into new contracts.
Coach Sean McVay and general manager Les Snead will receive extensions, chief operating officer Kevin Demoff said Tuesday at the NFL owners meetings.
“They’re the architects of this run,” Demoff said.
In five seasons under McVay, the Rams have made two Super Bowl appearances, including a victory over the Cincinnati Bengals in Super Bowl LVI at SoFi Stadium.
Snead and McVay received extensions after the Rams lost to the New England Patriots in Super Bowl LIII at the end of the 2018 season. They have two years remaining on those deals.
“They have an amazing working relationship,” Demoff said. “You’d be foolish, when you look at how hard it is in this league to win, not to try to keep together a pair that’s done it really well.”
McVay, who reportedly earned about $8.5 million last season, is set to perhaps join Bill Belichick of the New England Patriots and Pete Carroll of the Seattle Seahawks at or near the top of the NFL coaches salary list. Belichick reportedly earns more than $12 million per season, Carroll $11 million.
The Rams entered the offseason with what McVay and Snead described as the “high-priority” task of extending Stafford’s contract and re-doing Donald’s. Stafford recently signed a four-year, $160-million extension.
Donald has not publicly refuted a report that he was considering retirement if the Rams won the Super Bowl. However, during a media session Tuesday morning, McVay said Donald told him he would return next season.
“There was kind of an understanding of, ‘Hey, whenever you’re ready to talk about it, let’s talk about it and then let’s make a plan moving forward because what was important is, if you are coming back …. let’s go ahead and build this thing and have a plan that’s in alignment with being able to support you, get you a new contract and those things,’ ” McVay said. “‘And if not, then we’ve got a lot of plans that we’ve got to make accordingly.’…
“Once he said that, I know how excited I was, and then you start to say, ‘All right, well, let’s connect with [agent] Todd France and let’s figure out the logistics of trying to get him a contract.’”
Dialogue with Donald and his representation “has been nothing but positive,” vice-president Tony Pastoors said.
“We all have the same goal — find a suitable solution and make sure he’s wearing a Rams uniform next fall,” Pastoors said. “It’s just figuring out how that looks and what that means.”
After the Super Bowl, broadcast networks reportedly made lucrative overtures to McVay to transition into an analyst role. McVay said a few weeks ago that he passed on the opportunities and was looking forward to coaching the Rams.
So, how relieved was McVay that Donald, a three-time NFL defensive player of the years, was returning?
“Maybe I would have done the TV stuff if Aaron retired,” McVay joked Tuesday during an open media session.
No team has repeated as Super Bowl champion since the Patriots in the 2003 and 2004 seasons.
The team McVay coaches in the upcoming season will, in many ways, look different than the team Snead assembled for its championship run.
Core players such as offensive tackle Andrew Whitworth, receiver Robert Woods and punter Johnny Hekker — who had played under McVay since his hiring in 2017 — are gone. So are outside linebacker Von Miller, cornerback Darious Williams, defensive lineman Sebastian Joseph-Day and offensive lineman Austin Corbett.
The Rams re-signed offensive linemen Joseph Noteboom and Brian Allen and signed free-agent receiver Allen Robinson before trading Woods to the Tennessee Titans.
The Rams are attempting to re-sign receiver Odell Beckham Jr. and awaiting a decision by free-agent linebacker Bobby Wagner.
The Rams, under McVay, have not made a significant financial investment at inside linebacker. And they are not apt to break the bank for Wagner, a six-time All-Pro during 10 seasons with the Seattle Seahawks.
Wagner visited with the Rams last week and also reportedly had contact with the Dallas Cowboys and visited the Baltimore Ravens.
“He’s kind of going through his process, but there’s definitely interest,” McVay said, “and if we can get it worked out, I’d be fired up.”
Said Snead: “He knows that our situation is there after he analyzes it all.”