The brain trust for the Los Angeles Rams did not attend the NFL Scouting Combine this week, but general manager Les Snead and head coach Sean McVay both held virtual press conferences to preview the offseason.
Coming off of the league’s first 17-game season and a Super Bowl victory means free agency and the NFL Draft are just around the corner. The Los Angeles Rams will need to make some salary maneuvers to their players currently under contract in order to gauge how much money will be available to build a roster in defense of their Super Bowl title.
According to Sean McVay and Les Snead, the Rams hope to have both Aaron Donald and Matthew Stafford extended before too long. Doesn’t sound like they expect Donald to be leaning towards retirement, so long as the price is right.
Sean McVay says that in his mind it’s a matter of the highest priority to get Stafford extension, Donald contract done - not just because of how that will shape the rest of their free agency period but also because of their value to the team on either side of the ball.— Jourdan Rodrigue (@JourdanRodrigue) March 2, 2022
One of the first extensions we may see from Los Angeles in 2022 could be for their star defensive lineman Aaron Donald. Donald signed his original contract extension with the Rams ahead of the 2018 regular season, but he’s since won two NFL Defensive Player of the Year awards and made key plays to close out the team’s Super Bowl victory. His previous extension made him the highest paid NFL defender for about 24 hours, until the Chicago Bears traded for OLB Khalil Mack and gave him a new contract.
The star defensive tackle held out of two training camps in order to get his big pay day for the Rams, but nearly four years later Donald is now getting compensated below his market value.
Les Snead sounds confident that Rams and Aaron Donald will be in a good place - including contractually - as they move through the offseason. Team, Donald’s team have had discussions about contract. “I never say anything w certainty (but) that’s not a concern right now.”— Jourdan Rodrigue (@JourdanRodrigue) March 2, 2022
After contemplating retirement following LA’s Super Bowl victory, a new deal could entice Donald to “run it back” with Los Angeles. Time will tell how long Donald will continue to not only play in the NFL but consistently operate at an elite level. With no major injuries over the course of his career and at just age 30, it’s reasonable to expect Donald to continue on his current pace until more evident signs of decline emerge.
Super Bowl winning teams attempt to defend their title by keeping the championship roster together, similar to the Tampa Bay Buccaneers in 2021; however, the Rams must reload and add build a new roster ready to compete in 2022. Change will come this offseason for LA, and one of the first steps for the team will be extensions for key veterans - Donald among the most significant priorities in this category.
Stafford is entering the final year of the six-year pact he signed with the Detroit Lions.