I don’t think [Donald and his reps] are unrealistic. I think they see their client at a certain point that they value [him] at. We see it at a different point. To me, that doesn’t mean one side is right or wrong. I think that’s the worst thing you can say in negotiations.
We don’t agree. But that doesn’t make us right and them wrong. It doesn’t make them right and us wrong. We just don’t agree.
With Donald having held out last year into the regular season and now holding out again this year with the regular season looming two weeks from today, anxiety is high among the fan base over a possible extension. Rams Head Coach Sean McVay alluded to the suggestion that he and the training staff would like to have him by the end of this week to acclimate him to NFL training and gameplay speed and whatnot.
But a new interview with Demoff with SiriusXM radio cleared things up...well not at all:
When will Aaron Donald report to the #Rams?@RamsNFL COO & VP Kevin Demoff told us why he is optimistic about the Aaron Donald contract negotiations when we made our Training Camp stop...— SiriusXM NFL Radio (@SiriusXMNFL) August 27, 2018
Host: Why is this taking so long with Aaron Donald? Even just in general, the magnitude of the type of deal, these aren’t deals, and I know you’ve been working on this for a couple of years, but they’re not done overnight. These are very complicated deals, aren’t they?
Demoff: I think this is one of those situations where you have a great player who’s played at historical levels through his first four years. For us, it’s trying to find the right balance to reward Aaron at a historical level putting him among the elite players in the game where he deserves to be while also preserving the fact that this is the second-youngest team. We’re growing. We have a quarterback coming up who’s eventually going to get paid, and making sure that we can keep this team together. Look, maybe you try to preserve that balance.
We have one viewpoint on how we can reward Aaron. His people have a different viewpoint on what that level is.
I don’t think it’s contentious. We just don’t see eye-to-eye on it right now.
There’s nothing wrong with that, and I wish we did. I don’t think there’s a right or wrong side in this. They’ve been great to work with. A lot of the numbers and the speculation out there [are] just that: numbers and speculation.
And I give them a ton of credit. We’ve been at this for a while. Everybody’s kept quiet and kept things in house, and I think that’s exactly the way these things ultimately get done.
And look, it would give me no greater joy than to have a press conference with Aaron Donald there signing a long-term contract and what he means to this franchise and to this team. And I know his teammates are out there, and they support him and believe in him. We just have to figure out a way to close the differences of where we don’t see eye-to-eye right now, and I think both sides are working hard to do that.
And that is our goal is to make sure he’s here for a really long time.
Look, he’s on pace for a Hall of Fame career. When you draft players, you want them to be everything that Aaron Donald is, and you want the contract to reflect that. We’re headed there.
We’re trying. I know they’re trying.
And hopefully we can find a way to get there.
“We just don’t agree” has turned into “we don’t see eye-to-eye,” and Demoff continues to insinuate that there’s a balance between signing Donald to their terms and threatening their future suggesting that signing him above a certain rate would hinder the team’s ability to remain competitive.
It is what it is.
And on a day when the New York Giants and their fans are celebrating locking down one of the NFL’s best wide receivers in Odell Beckham Jr., the Rams and Aaron Donald are still where they’ve been for more than a year.
Which is hardly comfortable right now.
(UPDATED August 27, 3:38pm ET)
Just heard back from SiriusXM. The audio was from an interview earlier this month.
Have to wonder how recent developments have progressed and how, given the two sides weren’t seeing eye-to-eye, that might have changed...