Aaron Donald deserves better from the Rams.
The Los Angeles Rams have done more than any other NFL franchise to prepare their team for a run to the Super Bowl this season. Adding stars like Ndamukong Suh and Aqib Talib have prepared Sean McVay’s defense to dominate opponents. The Rams still have one major piece of business to complete before training camp begins, though.
The Rams still need to take care of defensive tackle Aaron Donald, who is entering the last year of his rookie deal in 2018. That means Donald will earn just less than $7 million this season if he doesn’t get a new contract. Letting him play out the last year of his deal would be front office malpractice by GM Les Snead and company.
In fairness to the team, they’ve already articulated their desire to lock Donald up for the long haul. Snead makes no secret that he and the organization want the disruptive lineman to “be a Ram for a long time.” At this point, that’s just lip service though. The team has had plenty of time to negotiate with Donald and his representatives. To date, there’s been no tangible progress between the two sides.
Currently Donald is the 11th highest paid player with the Rams. That’s a sorry spot for arguably the best defensive lineman in football. It’s particularly worrisome when you consider the fact that Suh is the team’s highest paid player with a salary of $14 million. Donald will have every right to bristle at the fact that the older, inferior player lining up next to him will potentially be making twice as much money as he is.
The solution for the Rams is simple. They need to get in the room with Donald’s representatives and find a way to get a long-term contract extension done. It won’t be cheap, but Donald’s age and production level will make it a good investment.
The Los Angeles Rams need to make Aaron Donald the highest paid defensive lineman in football. That’s what you do when you have the most disruptive lineman in the game on your team. Every day they let pass without showing their long-term commitment to Donald is a day where they increase the probability of him leaving next summer.