As a Philadelphia Eagles fan, honestly, I don’t want to see him on the field. As a football fan, Aaron Donald should’ve been signed to a long-term deal last year. Arguably, Aaron Donald is the best defensive player in the NFL right now. After holding out last year, all he did was come into camp late and win the NFL Defensive Player of the Year award. Aaron Donald took a major chance last year and it should’ve paid off with a brand new contract. During the offseason, my thoughts where I’d see some headlines reading, Aaron Donald Becomes the Highest Paid Defensive Player in the NFL! Instead, the Rams really were aggressive this offseason bringing in new talent left and right. They loss Robert Quinn, Alec Ogletree, and Trumaine Johnson during the offseason. They gained Marcus Peters, Aqib Talib, Sam Shields, and Ndamukong Suh.
Aaron Donald is a human wrecking ball on the defensive interior. His 91 quarterback pressures last season led the league, per Pro Football Focus, with the Broncos’ Von Miller a distant second at 83. And Donald didn’t even play in two games, including one that coincided with a holdout that extended right up until the eve of the regular season. Yet here he is, nearly a full year later, still waiting on a second contract, even as his team wheels and deals to stock the roster while also extending some of his teammates.
As he entered the fourth year of his rookie deal, Donald felt he was worth more than the $1.8 million he was slated to earn in 2017, in addition to the $6.9 million he was due in 2018, since the Rams had already picked up his fifth-year option. He wanted a new deal, so he held out until Sept. 9—one day before the start of the regular season. The CBA calls for fines of $40,000 per day for holdouts by players under contract, so Donald accrued roughly $1.4 million in fines. By the time he reported for work, it was too late to play in the Sept. 10 season opener. The Rams could have docked him a game check for that, too, but they decided not to do that—or to fine him the $1.4 million.
What Will Happen?
It seems like both sides are set in what they’re going to do for this upcoming season. The Los Angeles Rams seems like they’re preparing for this season without the services of their All-Pro Defensive Lineman. From what I can gather, Aaron Donald is prepared to not play this season without a new deal. With preseason games right around the corner, it seems like we won’t be seeing Aaron Donald on the field this year unless something drastic happens. After the Rams signed Todd Gurley and Brandin Cooks to huge contracts, it may not happen.