The Los Angeles Rams opened training camp this week without defensive tackle Aaron Donald who did not report due to his interest in a new contract.
L.A.’s best player also skipped several weeks of offseason workouts while his agent worked on a deal to make Donald one of the NFL’s highest paid players, per USA Today.
— Dylan John Seaton🌹 (@DylanJohnSeaton) July 30, 2017
Donald can get fined up to $40,000 per day for not reporting, but Rams GM Les Snead did not say whether the Rams will utilize fans against the four-year pro.
Snead did say that the team respects Donald and their trying to deal with his situation. Donald’s contract situation is a priority, according to the Rams’ GM. Snead added that Donald earned the right to become a long-time Ram and get a higher salary.
The Rams defensive tackle is slated to earn $1.8 million this season and $6.89 million next year via his fifth-year option. After that, the Rams can franchise tag him which gives Donald top-five DT money for one season only. A team can only franchise tag a player two years in a row, and the second year is a percentage more than the first year.
Donald has 28 sacks in only three NFL seasons. Few defensive players have accomplished that, and all of them are edge rushers, per ESPN.
Thus, it makes sense that Donald wants more money now. However, he could earn even more money in a year or two if he keeps up his crazy numbers. A long-term deal now lowers Donald’s long-term money projections.
It remains to be seen how Donald’s holdout will impact the Rams defense. Donald is a two-time All-Pro and three-time Pro Bowler. However, the Pittsburgh alumni will transition from the 4-3 defensive scheme that he played in his entire career to a 3-4 defense under new coordinator Wade Phillips.
Oakland Raiders offensive tackle Donald Penn is another one of the latest holdouts headlining NFL training camp. But Penn is a 33-year-old veteran with one year left on a team-friendly deal. The veteran tackle seems to have a little more leverage than Donald who can only negotiate with one team for atleast the next couple of seasons.