Aaron Donald‘s holdout continues through two weeks of training camp and one preseason win over the Cowboys. Is it time to pay the All-Pro defensive tackle?
Head coach Sean McVay said the team hopes they can figure out Donald’s contract situation because he is a big part of what the team does, per the Los Angeles Times.
Defensive tackle Michael Brockers backed up his coach. He said Donald was missed in that first preseason game.
“You’re missing that dynamic element in his defensive front,” Brockers said.
Brockers said Donald is probably working out somewhere and he is sick to his stomach not being with the team. He also said he expects Donald to be out there somewhere.
Donald is scheduled to make $1.8 million this season $6.9 million in 2018. Those are the last two years of his rookie contract, which the Rams picked up their team option for the fifth year. His salary is 31st among defensive tackles this season and No. 13 for 2018, per Spotrac.
Even after 2018, the Rams can use their franchise designation on Donald which would deny him free agency for at least another season. Therefore, the Rams still have all the leverage.
Before Donald sat out the first preseason game, GM Les Snead said there was no movement in contract negotiations. Still, Snead said there is hope that Donald will be a Ram for a long time. What does that mean exactly?
Plus, a knee injury to defensive tackle Dominique Easley earlier this offseason shows how short an NFL career can be. So no one can really blame Donald for wanting more money.
Should the Rams pay their defensive tackle?
Donald registered 28 sacks, 110 tackles and 4 forced fumbles through his first three seasons. The 26-year-old is a three-time Pro Bowler and two-time All-Pro selection.
He also rated as PFF’s No. 1 rated defensive tackle with a 98.5 accumulative grade. That was only slightly lower than the 99.3 accumulative grade he registered in 2015.
Nonetheless, the Rams need Donald in camp sooner than later. L.A. is in a new defensive scheme under defensive coordinator Wade Phillips. Donald needs to learn the playbook and his new assignments as a base 3-4 end. When will the Rams finally give in and pay this man? Or will they allow this hold out to carry on into the regular season?
Donald has already sat out minicamp and training camp. He has not been seen at the facility since veterans first reported to camp.
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