Rams players were required to check in for training camp by Friday at 11am Pacific time, but star defensive tackle Aaron Donald is a no-show, according to Ian Rapoport of NFL.com (Twitter link). Donald will hold out with the goal of landing a lucrative extension, reports Alden Gonzlez of ESPN.com.
Los Angeles had indeed discussed a new deal for Donald, but “little progress” has been made in negotiations, per Rapoport. Asking price is almost assuredly an issue in talks, but the Rams’ level of team control over Donald means the club has little incentive to rush discussions. Donald is under contract through 2018 at a total cost of roughly $10MM thanks to the fifth-year option, and the Rams can then deploy the franchise tag in 2019.
That’s not to presume that Donald hasn’t outplayed his contact, a fact with which the Rams agree. Donald, 26, has been absolutely dominant since entering the league as a first-round pick in 2014. A two-time All-Pro, Donald has managed 28 sacks during his three years in the NFL, an astonishing total for a defensive tackle. Donald, who played 828 snaps a season ago, graded as the league’s No. 1 interior defender, according to Pro Football Focus, which awarded him a 99.0 mark for his pass-rushing prowess.
Donald is slated to earn $1.802MM in 2017 before his salary rises to $6.892MM in 2018.
Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.