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Tavon Austin signs 4-year, $42M extension with Rams

After a career year in 2015, Rams wideout and former first-round pick Tavon Austin has earned himself an extension.

Austin has signed a four-year extension to stay in Los Angeles, the team announced Saturday. The new deal is worth $42 million with $30 million in guarantees, a source with knowledge of the deal told NFL Media Insider Ian Rapoport. The extension keeps the wide receiver under contract through the 2021 season.

The 25-year-old speedster will be invaluable over the coming seasons, adding another layer to a Rams offense that is desperate for playmakers.

"Tavon has been an integral part of our offense and special teams since we drafted him in 2013," Rams coach Jeff Fisher said in a statement. "It is important to our organization to retain players we've drafted and invested in, and Tavon is an example of that. We're excited for him to continue his career with the Rams."

In 2015, Austin caught 52 passes for 473 yards and five touchdowns and rushed for 434 yards with four more scores. His 907 yards from scrimmage nearly doubled his previous best -- 569 during his rookie season.

Rams fans have been waiting for an offensive coordinator to come along and unlock Austin's potential for years now. Last year's increase in rushing attempts, from 36 to 52, was the biggest indication yet that the team was working overtime to carve out a larger role for him.

So it goes in Los Angeles, where the team is hoping that stability is the key to turning around a club stuck in neutral. Since Austin's rookie season, the Rams' best record has been 7-9.

Taking Austin off the market was a good idea regardless of how successful the team has been, though. With receiver deals reaching their highest level yet, the Rams give themselves some cap room in the short term and a fairly reasonable deal for a solid No. 2-type receiver/offensive weapon.

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