Johnny Hekker embracing competition in bid to keep his job

NFL: DEC 20 Jets at Rams
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Johnny Hekker has rarely — if ever — had to worry about job security. One of the best punters in the NFL the past nine seasons, Hekker has earned four Pro Bowls and is a four-time All-Pro. He made the all-decade team for the 2010s.

The Rams rewarded Hekker as one of top punters in the NFL by making him the highest-paid punter in the NFL. Hekker, though, wasn’t one of the top punters in the NFL last season.

His $4.9 million cap number now could cost him his job.

“When push comes to shove, they have to make the best decisions for this roster,” Hekker said, via Gary Klein of the Los Angeles Times. “And there’s no running around the financial aspect of it. So, you’ve got to do what you’ve got to do to put together the best roster that you can.”

Hekker, 31, faces competition from Corey Bojorquez and Brandon Wright to keep his job.

The veteran is coming off a season in which he averaged a career-low 45.6 yards per punt with a career-low 39.2 net.

“I definitely did not perform to the best of my abilities,” Hekker said. “There were a few games that I really, I don’t know, just kind of got just maybe ahead of myself mentally. . . . There were definitely some kicks out there that I would have liked to have seen go better for the team. When I don’t put our team in good positions, that’s the stuff that really bugs me.”