Rams DT Aaron Donald admits new contract brings more pressure
The Los Angeles Rams finally managed to reward defensive tackle Aaron Donald with a lucrative extension. Although his reign as the highest-paid defensive player in the NFL was brief, the deal was further proof of the Rams’ willingness to pay its star players.
However, it is safe to assume that the six-year, $135 million comes with its fair share of high expectations. Donald acknowledged the sense of pressure during an appearance on SiriusXM NFL Radio:
“You could say that,” Donald said. “I feel like if I say it wouldn’t then I’d be lying. Mr. [Stan] Kroenke invested into me. I feel like I’m that type of player to help the organization. If anything, it just motivated me to work even harder. I just don’t want to let them down. I’m watching film right now. So, it just make you want to work even that much harder. So just work, continue to grind and lead by example. The way I work, you catch on and get this thing going.”
It can be tough for any player to try and live up to such a rich contract. In fact, it is often impossible to convince the consensus that a single player is worth a mind-boggling amount of money. However, it is clear that Donald is just being modest here. He has felt the pressure ever since he held out last season and he responded with his best year yet.
The reigning Defensive Player of the Year has already given the Rams plenty of bang for their buck over the last four seasons. He has accumulated 148 tackles, 39.0 sacks, and nine forced fumbles during that span, however, his numbers are hardly indicative of the kind of impact he has on defense. He generates more pressure on quarterbacks than any other player in the NFL despite being an interior defender.
Even if Donald’s numbers were to dip, it would likely be the result of the star-studded defense he is now a part of. At this point, Los Angeles has made it clear that they are all in on getting to the Super Bowl. There is no question that Donald helps give them that opportunity.