Rumor: Rams willing to make Aaron Donald highest paid defender, but he wants QB money
Through the first few months of the offseason, the Los Angeles Rams have dealt with the looming contract situation with All-Pro defensive tackle Aaron Donald. Some progress has been made toward a new extension being worked out prior to the 2018 season, but it appears things have stalled a bit over the last several weeks.
According to Vincent Bonsignore of The LA Daily News, there appears to be a new wrinkle to the discussions that have created this lull, with Donald not only desiring to be the highest-paid defensive player in the history of the NFL, but all possibly vying for the top overall contract.
“I’ve been told by multiple people in the NFL if this was just about Aaron Donald being the highest-paid defensive player in the history of the NFL, the deal would have already gotten done. Why? Because the Rams look like they are ready to do that. It’s probably going to be $20 million plus that they end up paying him. But, what I have been told is that doesn’t appear to be all he’s looking for. He wants to not only be the highest-paid defensive player of all-time, but it looks like in talking with some people, he wants to get paid like a quarterback. A high-level quarterback.”
This has made things more complicated for the Rams, who are already willing to meet him to the point of making him the highest-paid defensive player in the league. This is something that general manager Les Snead already indicated would be the case earlier this offseason.
However, what has likely thrown this new wrinkle into the fold has been the lucrative contracts given to a few quarterbacks this summer. The most recent being the five-year, $150 million deal with $100 million guaranteed that the Atlanta Falcons agreed to with Pro Bowl quarterback Matt Ryan.
This has pushed the asking price higher to the point that it is simply out of the Rams’ best interests to get him under that financial number, regardless of his immense talent.
The two sides may be a bit apart at this point, but these next few weeks ahead of training camp could allow them to get on the same page to keep Donald in Los Angels for the long haul.