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How Undervalued is Cooper Kupp’s Contract?

Last Updated: February 7, 2022
We compared the star LA Rams wide receiver’s salary and contract details to his rivals around the NFL to determine if Cooper Kupp is underpaid — and by how much.

If you’re Cooper Kupp, it’s good to be you. Not only did you become the first player to lead all NFL wide receivers in catches, yards, and touchdowns in a single season since 2005, but your Los Angeles Rams suddenly find themselves at the doorstep of the Super Bowl — one that happens to be taking place in your home stadium in Inglewood.

Suffice to say that Kupp is creating an absolute ton of value for Sean McVay’s team. But that begs a possibly uncomfortable question: Does the Eastern Washington product’s salary and overall contract value accurately reflect the weight of his contributions?

Let’s get to the bottom of this.

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Cooper Kupp Salary & Contract Details

All dollar figures via Spotrac.

Age: 28
Contract length: 3 years
Total value: $47,250,000
Average annual value (AAV): $15,750,000
2021 salary: $13,000,000
Free agency: 2024; potential out after 2022

Where Does Cooper Kupp’s Salary Rank Among NFL Wide Receivers?

Highest-paid WRs by 2021 $

  1. Tyler Lockett (SEA): $21M
  2. Ja’Marr Chase (CIN): $20.43M
  3. Amari Cooper (DAL): $20M
  4. Kenny Golladay (NYG): $18.21M
  5. Allen Robinson (CHI): $17.98M
  6. Jaylen Waddle (MIA): $17.72M
  7. Chris Godwin (TB): $15.98M
  8. Mike Williams (LAC): $15.68M
  9. Tyreek Hill (KC): $15.6M
  10. Julio Jones (TEN): $15.3M
  11. Stefon Diggs (BUF): $15.11M
  12. Corey Davis (NYJ): $14M
  13. Cooper Kupp (LAR): $13M

Highest-paid WRs by AAV

  1. DeAndre Hopkins (ARI): $27.25M
  2. Julio Jones (TEN): $22M
  3. Keenan Allen (LAC): $20.03M
  4. Amari Cooper (DAL): $20M
  5. Michael Thomas (NO): $19.25M
  6. Tyreek Hill (KC): $18M
  7. Kenny Golladay (NYG): $18M
  8. Allen Robinson (CHI): $17.88M
  9. Tyler Lockett (SEA): $17.25M
  10. Mike Evans (TB): $16.5M
  11. Robert Woods (LAR): $16.25M
  12. Brandin Cooks (HOU): $16.2M
  13. Adam Thielen (MIN): $16.05M
  14. Chris Godwin (TB): $15.98M
  15. Cooper Kupp (LAR): $15.75M

Cooper Kupp 2021 Regular Season Stats & Accolades

Catches: 145 (No. 1 in NFL)
Receiving yards: 1,947 (No. 1 in NFL)
Receiving TDs: 16 (No. 1 in NFL)

2021 Pro Bowl

2021 First Team All-Pro

NFL single-season record of 15 games with at least 90 receiving yards

First player since 2005 to win wide receiver “Triple Crown”

How Much Did Cooper Kupp Make Per Reception This Season?

In the 2021 regular season, the Rams superstar hauled in 145 passes and made $13 million in salary. That’s good for $89,655.17 per catch.

By comparison, 2021’s highest-paid receiver — Seattle’s Tyler Lockett — caught 73 passes and made $21 million. That’s $287,671.23 per catch.

The highest-earning receiver in 2021 left in the NFL Playoffs as of this writing, Bengals star rookie Ja’Marr Chase, recorded 81 catches at a salary of $20.43 million, or $252,222.22 per catch.

How Much Did Cooper Kupp Make Per Receiving TD This Season?

Kupp posted 16 regular-season touchdowns this season. At his salary, that amounts to $812,500 per TD.

Lockett delivered eight receiving scores for the Seahawks — that’s $2,625,000 per TD.

Chase’s 13 receiving touchdowns amount to $1,571,538.46 per TD.

How Much is Cooper Kupp Being Underpaid?

The big takeaways here are that Kupp delivered more than triple the value of this year’s highest-paid NFL wide receiver on both a per-catch and per-touchdown basis in 2021.

Does that mean a guy like Tyler Lockett is overpaid? No, it doesn’t. What it means is that Kupp is producing the kind of value that very much puts him in the conversation for deserving the single highest salary among NFL wideouts, which would entitle him to…

  • An hypothetical 2021 salary bump from $13,000,000 to $21,000,000, an increase of 61.54%
  • A contract AAV bump from $15,750,000 to $27,250,000, an increase of 73.02%

The final verdict: Cooper Kupp is underpaid based on the value he creates on the field. REALLY underpaid.

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About The Author
Sam Dunn
Sam Dunn
Sam Dunn is the Managing Editor of Boardroom. Before joining the team, he was an editor and multimedia talent for several sports and culture verticals at Minute Media and an editor, reporter, and site manager at SB Nation. A specialist in content strategy, copywriting, and SEO, he has additionally worked as a digital consultant in the corporate services, retail, and tech industries. He cannot be expected to be impartial on any matter regarding the Florida Gators or Atlanta Braves. Follow him on Twitter @RealFakeSamDunn.