Rams GM Les Snead later confirmed that Donald’s absence is related to his contract situation.
“It has something to do with the contract,” Snead said of Donald, per Gonzalez. “We’re at the serious part of (negotiations).”
Snead added that they’re hoping to get a deal in place that will ensure he remains with the team for the foreseeable future.
“I’m very hopeful that this will get done,” Snead said. “We want him to be a Ram … I think that’s his goal [too].”
Donald is in line for a massive contract that should leave him among the highest paid defensive players in the NFL.
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 them 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.