On Saturday, Rams DT Aaron Donald officially ended his holdout and reported to the team. However, he still won’t suit up for their season opener.
Ian Rapoport reports that even Donald reported to the team and passed a physical, it remains to be seen whether the two sides can get a long-term deal in place. According to Rapoport, the two parties have actually been discussing an extension that would likely make him the highest paid defensive player in the NFL.
With Donald ending his holdout, Rapoport says that it’s possible the showing of goodwill from him will be enough for them to push to get an agreement in place.
Sources tell Rapoport that Donald has “more than ample insurance” to cover him in case of injury this season.
Mike Florio of Pro Football Talk, citing a source with knowledge of the situation, reported last night that Los Angeles still wants to get a long-term deal done, but they hold all of the cards in this situation.
Donald is under contract for another two years and could then be subject to back-to-back franchise tags, which means he wouldn’t be able to test the open market until he was close to being 30 years old.
Beyond that Florio mentions that they don’t have to give him a market-value deal and it possible he may not command that kind of money once he’s finally in a position to test the free agent market.
Donald, 25, is a former first-round pick of the Rams back in 2014. He was in the final year of his four-year, $10.136 million and set to make a base salary of $1,802,250 for the 2017 season when the Rams picked up his fifth-year team option for the 2018 season.
This will run the Rams around $6.892 million for the 2018 season, but is guaranteed only for injury and won’t prevent them from working on a long-term extension over the next year.
In 2016, Donald appeared in all 16 games for the Rams and recorded 47 tackles, eight sacks, two forced fumbles and five pass defenses.
We’ll have more regarding a new deal for Donald as the news is available.