TAMPA, Fla. -- Before boarding a flight to Tampa on Saturday, the St. Louis Rams took care of an important piece of long-term business, signing defensive end Robert Quinn to a four-year contract extension.
The Rams confirmed they signed Quinn on Saturday afternoon, just before taking off to south Florida for Sunday's game against the Buccaneers. ESPN NFL Insider Adam Schefter reported the deal is worth $66.575 million and includes $41.2 million guaranteed.
From the team hotel in Tampa, Quinn told ESPN.com early Saturday evening that the biggest reward for him is having the opportunity to provide long-term security for his family, particularly his son Robert Jr.
"It is a great feeling," Quinn said. "That's kind of something within myself. I want to set my son up, it's more of a family thing. That's why I wanted it so bad. Personally, I just want to set my kids up, my wife up, so if anything happens to me they are taken care of. That's just kind of my mindset.
"To do it here in St. Louis and with the organization and teammates I have, I am definitely excited. Like I said, it's just a security and I know I'm going to be here for a while now."
While the extension is for four years, the deal is actually a new six-year contract in which the $66 million will be spread over those years.
In other words, Quinn's contract now runs through the 2019 season and will pay him an average of about $11 million per season.
The deal came as a bit of a surprise considering that Quinn was still going to be under team control for two more years after the Rams exercised his fifth-year player option earlier this spring.
But chief operating office Kevin Demoff said talks began in earnest in the spring and though there was no sense of urgency to get anything done, as an agreement drew closer he wanted to keep pushing through the first week of the season to get something done.
"He's a tremendous player, he's grown up every year since he's been here and become a team leader, a pillar of the community," Demoff said Saturday night. "He's the kind of player we want in our organization [and] we want to reward."
Earlier in the day, the Rams tweeted a photo of Quinn signing the deal and shaking hands with general manager Les Snead.
- St. Louis Rams (@STLouisRams) September 13, 2014
In signing the deal, the Rams locked up one of the top pass-rushers in the game after Quinn finished 2013 second in the league with 19 sacks and seven forced fumbles. Since the start of the 2012 season, Quinn is second only to Watt with 29.5 sacks.
The Rams recently restructured the contracts of defensive end Chris Long and receiver Austin Pettis to clear some cap space, but those deals did not have any impact on Quinn's deal. Quinn's 2014 salary cap number is unchanged by the new contract.
Now that the deal is done, Quinn said he no longer has to worry about what comes next and can focus solely on this season.
"I can get that out of my head and I really can play lights-out with no worries," Quinn said. "So it's kind of a weight lifted off my shoulders and have some fun, try to win some ballgames around here."