L.A. Rams head coach Sean McVay says he doesn’t expect Aaron Donald, the reigning NFL Defensive Player of the Year, in training camp “in the near future.”
Don’t expect Aaron Donald in Los Angeles Rams training camp anytime soon, at least according to head coach Sean McVay.
McVay said Monday that he doesn’t see Donald’s holdout ending “in the near future,” but is still hopeful that a deal will be reached with last year’s NFL Defensive Player of the Year.
“I don’t think anything’s going to change with that in the near future,” McVay told Gary Klein of the Los Angeles Times. “I’ve had a little bit of dialogue with Aaron and we’re hopeful that we’ll get something done.”
Donald will earn $6.9 million this season on the final year of the rookie deal he signed after the Rams drafted him 13th overall in 2014. That salary ranks 12th among Rams players. He is reportedly seeking a deal worth more than $25 million a season. The Rams have offered a four-year contract worth $21 million a season, which would make him the highest-paid defensive player in NFL history.
Donald has until Tuesday to report to camp. If he doesn’t, he will lose a year of service time and be unable to reach free agency after this season. Despite the deadline, Donald has no plans to report, according to ESPN’s Adam Schefter.
McVay says the Aug. 7 deadline won’t effect the team’s negotiations with their star defensive end.
“But I don’t think there’s any realistic deal to kind of that Aug. 7 being a date that changes really anything,” he told Klein. “But you never know. And things remain the same. I’m looking forward to trying to connect with him later today and we’ll see where we’re at.”
In his four-year career with the Rams, Donald has established himself as a dominant force on the defensive line. He has made first team All-Pro each of the past three seasons, and was a Pro Bowler every year in his career. Last season he tied a career high with 11 sacks. For his career, he has 39 sacks and 148 tackles in 62 games.
This isn’t the first time Donald and the Rams have had a testy contract dispute. He also held out during training camp last season and didn’t report to the team until Sept. 9. His lengthy absence forced him to miss the Rams’ season opener against Indianapolis.
The Rams signed Ndamukong Suh in free agency this offseason to play alongside Donald and form the most formidable front line in the NFL. But if Donald’s holdout doesn’t end soon, Suh may end up replacing Donald instead of teaming up with him.
In 2017 the Rams won the NFC West with a record of 11-5 before losing to Atlanta in the Wild Card round. They open their 2018 campaign on Monday Night Football Sept. 10 in Oakland.