The Los Angeles Rams opened up the first day of offseason workouts with players reporting to the team practice facility. This has seen several new faces make the venture to the voluntary offseason program.
However, one player was notably absent from the team organized workout in star defensive tackle Aaron Donald, who is hoping to strike up a lucrative extension with the team. According to Taylor Bisciotti of The NFL Network, head coach Sean McVay voiced no concern about where both sides are at in the contract negotiation process:
#Rams Head Coach Sean McVay says he's had great dialogue with Aaron Donald…feels good about where they are at. He's going to work hard on his off time.
— Taylor Bisciotti (@TaylorBisciotti) April 16, 2018
Donald is currently in the fifth-year option of his rookie deal and has been eyeing a new long-term extension since last offseason. In his first four campaigns, the 26-year-old has proven to be arguably the best defensive player in the league coming off yet another highly productive season that earned him his first NFL Defensive Player of the Year award and his four Pro Bowl selection, and third All-Pro First Team nod.
The Rams have continued to voice optimism about the entire situation with general manager Les Snead recently stating that the team is nearing making Donald the highest-paid defensive player in the league. This would top the six-year, $114.5 million deal that defensive end Von Miller received from the Denver Broncos.
The confidence voiced by the Rams should shed light on how close the talks are to getting a new deal in place at some point this offseason. It may just be a matter of time before Donald has inked a new extension to keep him in place in Los Angeles for the long haul as the anchor of their defense.
Through his first four seasons, Donald holds the Rams record for most sacks (39.0) by a defensive tackle. He is also the only player at his position with at least eight sacks in each of his first four years since the 1982 season.