One of the NFL's most underrated pass-catchers is receiving a nice payday.
The Rams and Robert Woods have agreed to terms on a four-year, $65 million extension, NFL Network Insider Ian Rapoport reported, per a source informed of the situation. The extension is worth a maximum amount of $68 million and includes $32 million in guaranteed money.
Woods gets $4.5 million in new money in the two existing years of his current contract, Rapoport added. The first year of the new extension, 2022, is set to pay Woods $13.5 million, meaning the wideout will receive $18 million in new money through 2022, per Rapoport.
Ranked 76th in the 2019 edition of the NFL's top 100 players, Woods has operated largely out of the spotlight, but not out of the stat sheet. While many more notable stars have shined brightly before burning out, Woods has remained consistent since joining the Rams in 2017, catching 232 passes for 3,134 yards and 13 touchdowns from 2017-2019.
The Rams' Twitter account referred to Woods as "Mr. Reliable" when announcing they agreed to the four-year extension, and for good reason, as evidenced by the numbers above. Next Gen Stats tell us Woods makes his money after the catch. Woods tied Bucs receiver Chris Godwin for most yards after catch in 2019 with 608, accounting for 53.6 percent of his total receiving yards. Of those YAC, 94 occurred above expectation, helping Woods post 1 yard after catch above expectation.
Woods was back at it in Week 1, gaining 90 of his 105 receiving yards after the catch in a win over Dallas. He's especially effective when finding the soft spots in the defense over the middle of the field, gaining 22 YAC on crossing routes.
It's a tried and true method for Woods and quarterback Jared Goff. Last season, Woods was targeted on 39 percent of the crossing routes he ran, the highest target rate in the NFL among receivers with at least 50 crossing routes, per Next Gen Stats' Route Recognition metrics.
Football games are often won and lost by what players do with the ball after they've received it, and Woods is elite in that regard. As the faces change around him, Woods remains reliable and productive. That's a wise investment for the Rams.