Rookies have arrived. Veterans report tomorrow. The first of 15 practices is on Saturday. The Los Angeles Rams 2017 Training Camp is nearly underway, but it might feature one notable absentee: DT Aaron Donald.
Donald is heading into his fourth professional season, the final of his original rookie contract after being selected in the 2014 NFL Draft. Three months ago, the Rams exercised their fifth-year option on Donald ensuring he will be under contract at least through the 2018 season, though they do so at an EXTREME discount given his talent level.
Donald will cost $3.225m for 2017 and $6.8m next year. He’s likely looking at a contract that averages $20m per year over its course, so you can see the savings through next year are substantial.
It’s the reason why Donald might be a holdout for training camp this year until he can get a new deal locked in place, a holdout that General Manager Les Snead addressed during his media availability today:
GM Snead talking to media right now. On Aaron Donald, says he's uncertain if the DT will report, doesn't want to speculate.— Myles Simmons (@MylesASimmons) July 27, 2017
Snead adds if Donald decided to not report, it's something the organization "has to respect."— Myles Simmons (@MylesASimmons) July 27, 2017
Snead said the the Rams have communicated with Donald but didn't want to go into details of wht they have discussed.— Rich Hammond (@Rich_Hammond) July 27, 2017
Rams GM Les Snead said DT Aaron Donald is "still a priority," but he is "not certain" that he will report to training camp Friday.— Alden Gonzalez (@Alden_Gonzalez) July 27, 2017
Veterans are scheduled to report tomorrow, so we’ll know which way this story is headed soon enough.
As it stands, it sounds like the Rams’ GM is prepared to welcome a holdout from the team’s best player.