The Los Angeles Rams officially kicked off their first day of organized team activities with one notable exception as Aaron Donald was a no-show for the team’s first voluntary practice.
However, this did not particularly take anyone within the team’s camp by surprise. According to Myles Simmons of Rams, general manager Les Snead said Donald’s absence was contract-related:
“I can tell you this, we’re definitely at the serious stages of renegotiating,” Snead said, adding he’d keep the details of the discussions in-house. “But [we] respect Aaron as a player, a person, respect his representation, and respect the process.”
Snead’s comments certainly spell optimism for both sides as they continue to work on a long-term deal. Donald has already become the NFL’s premier defensive tackle since entering the league in 2014. He has made the Pro Bowl in each of his three seasons and earned his second consecutive First-Team All-Pro honors.
Donald’s heavily-padded resume definitely spells top-tier money, which is likely to be in the J.J. Watt and Von Miller range. He is currently in the fourth year of his rookie contract and the Rams already decided to exercise his fifth-year option. The Denver Broncos made Miller the highest-paid defensive player in the league last year after signing him to a lucrative six-year, $114 million deal. As a result, Miller’s price range will likely set the standard of what Donald will be looking for.
His current salary for the 2017 NFL season hovers just around $6.9 million, giving Los Angeles plenty of bang for their buck. However, that is likely to change soon with the new deal both sides are currently hashing out.