It’s been a while since Rams fans have had reason to be optimistic about Aaron Donald, but there may be a breakthrough in negotiations coming soon.
Aaron Donald’s holdout is the soap opera dominating the Los Angeles Rams’ preseason at the moment. Fortunately for Rams fans, it seems there is now a reason to believe the story could finish with a happy ending.
After weeks of stagnant negotiations, there finally seems to be some significant momentum in the talks between the team and their star defensive tackle. The team’s GM, Les Snead, claims the two parties are in the “same ballpark” in terms of both years and dollars.
The news that Donald’s representatives and the teams are engaged in meaningful conversations at this point in the preseason is telling. It means everyone involved in the process is motivated to get a deal done soon. Some teams would simply choose to sit back and wait for the player to capitulate to their demands at this point in the preseason.
Credit the Rams for making a more proactive choice. Snead and company realize their team has a legitimate chance to win a Super Bowl title this season. That isn’t going to happen if Donald isn’t properly motivated. Failing to hand Donald a new, long-term contract would prevent the team from getting the most out of their most impactful player.
Sean McVay would clearly like to see Donald show up in camp sooner, rather than later. Donald isn’t going to need a ton of reps to get ready for the regular season, but it would be nice to get him some meaningful snaps with his new teammates. Allowing him to develop some chemistry with new defensive tackle Ndamukong Suh could be particularly important. If those two players can get on the same page they will be a nightmare duo for opposing offensive lines.
Rams fans shouldn’t start popping bottles of celebratory champagne just yet. Getting in the same ballpark and agreeing to a massive contract extension are two very different things. The devil could certainly pop up in the details here. It’s good news that the Rams and Donald are close to a new deal, but the star defender won’t be coming to camp until his demands are fully met.