— Rams Wire (@TheRamsWire) August 18, 2017
By Asha Doucet
After refusing to report to training camp and missing most of the preseason, is it time for Aaron Donald to end his fight?
Los Angeles Rams Defensive Tackle Aaron Donald is one of the best defensive players in the entire NFL, and he’s certainly the best on his team.
His play is on par with other elite defenders like J.J. Watt, Von Miller and Ndamukong Suh. The difference is Donald isn’t getting paid like those other defensive stars. Suh is on a six-year, $114.4 million deal with $60 million guaranteed, and Miller is making $114 million over six years with $70 million guaranteed.
Donald is still on his rookie contract and if played out entirely, his current contract will guarantee him $70 million and $118 million overall. However, over the next two years, he’ll receive just $8.7 million total.
That amount is downright laughable compared to his production on the field, and with the violent nature of the game, if his contract isn’t restructured there’s a possibility he could never see the larger portion of his deal.
With that being said, he’s highly underpaid and completely justified in his holdout.
But so far Donald has missed all of training camp, most of the preseason and is in jeopardy of missing the Rams’ season opener against the Indianapolis Colts.
Since Los Angeles seems like they aren’t budging, one may argue that Donald has made his point and it’s time for him to get back to work.
But at this point Donald should hold his ground even if it means missing part of the regular season.
Of course what Donald will be losing out on is practice time and in-game reps that can’t be reproduced even if he’s living in the gym. But that’s a sacrifice he has to accept if he intends to hold his ground.
Because Donald has two years on his contract but the Rams control him until 2020, they have all the leverage and no reason to give into his demands.
However, if Donald is truly playing hardball and not bluffing he must show the willingness to miss part of the regular season.
If the holdout does, in fact, drag into the games that matter and L.A.’s defense struggles, then the organization may come knocking on Donald’s door willing to give into his demands.