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Defensive Tackle Aaron Donald Holding Out Of Rams Training Camp

Defensive Tackle Aaron Donald Holding Out Of Rams Training Camp

As the Los Angeles Rams training camp gets underway, they are without their star defensive tackle Aaron Donald, as it appears that he will be holding out of camp for the time being, according to NFL Network Insider Ian Rapoport. The holdout is presumably due to a lack of a satisfactory contract, as he enters the final year of his rookie deal. He is set to make $7 million this coming season.

Donald held out for all of 2017’s training camp, not reporting to the team up until September 9, just one day before the team’s season opener against the Indianapolis Colts. However, since he is now entering the final year of his contract, he could be denied free agency at the end of the season if he does not report to training camp at least one month before the beginning of the season, which starts on September 10 for the Rams.

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Rams general manager Les Snead has said in the past that the team plans on making Donald the highest paid defensive player in the NFL when the time comes for him to sign a contract, but the situation is getting a bit strange. The Rams recently signed newly acquired wide receiver Brandin Cooks to a six-year deal worth $90 million, with $50 million guaranteed. Now, the team has inked running back Todd Gurley to a four-year contract extension worth $60 million, with $45 million guaranteed. Those are two huge contracts for non-quarterback players, and if the Rams were to follow through on their big-money promise to Donald, they would be seriously strapped for cash elsewhere moving forward.

When speaking about those other contracts, Snead said, “Each situation is different. Different players, different agents. … You work on everything simultaneously, but you really don’t know when you’re going to get something done or not because it’s case by case.”

In reference to Rams fans everywhere taking to social media to announce their desire for Donald to get paid, Snead stated, “That’s what we’re trying to do… It’s a little more complicated than that. Definitely agree with the fans. We want to definitely try to pay Aaron what he’s deserved and make him a Ram a long time.”

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All this aside, if there’s any defensive player worth that type of money, it’s Aaron Donald. He has made the Pro-Bowl in each of his four seasons in the NFL, made the First Team All-Pro each year from 2015 to 2017, won the Defensive Rookie of the Year in 2014, and Defensive Player of the Year in 2017. This past season saw him accumulate 11 sacks, 5 forced fumbles, and a staggering 91 quarterback pressures. He is arguably the best defensive player in the NFL, and at 27-years-old and very little injury history, he looks to maintain that dominance for a long time.

Donald has until August 10 to report to training camp, or he could risk his free agency status come 2019.

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Written by Mike Conn

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