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Los Angeles Rams, Aaron Donald Still Far Apart In Contract Extension Negotiations

By Fitzgerald Cecilio
on Jul 26, 2018 09:10 AM EDT
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Aaron Donald
Defensive end Aaron Donald has skipped the start of the Los Angeles Rams’ training camp after failing to get a contract extension. Donald is playing the last year of the five-year pact that he signed with the Rams in 2014. (Photo : NFL | YouTube)

Without a new contract, defensive end Aaron Donald was missing at the start of the Los Angeles Rams training camp on Wednesday.

According to Ian Rapoport of NFL Network Insider, the Rams have yet to sign Donald to a new deal. Donald is in the last year of the five-year deal that he signed with the Rams.

The Rams are scheduled to begin their preseason on Aug. 9 against the Baltimore Ravens. They will open their regular-season campaign against the Oakland Raiders on Sept. 10.

Donald Set To Earn Less Than $7M in 2018

The reigning NFL Defensive Player of the Year, Donald is set to earn just a shade under $7 million from the fifth-year option that the Rams picked up recently. Donald is expected to become the highest-paid defensive player once he reaches a new deal with the Rams.

Recently, the Rams signed wide receiver Brandin Cooks to a five-year deal worth $80 million, while running back Todd Gurley inked a four-year extension worth $60 million.

Last season, Donald skipped the Rams' entire training camp before reporting a day before their season opener in September. Donald played just 14 games, but he was able to match his career high with 11 sacks and led the league in quarterback pressures with 91. In his four years with the Rams, Donald has 208 combined tackles and 39 sacks.

Rams GM Says Donald's Situation Different

Rams general manager Les Snead said that while they easily reached a deal with Cooks and Gurley, the situation is different in Donald's case.

"Each situation is different," Snead says. "Different players, different agents ... You work on everything simultaneously, but you really don't know when you're going to get something done or not because it's case by case."

Based on Donald's rookie deal, he needs to report at least one month before the opening of the regular season. If the defensive end fails to do so, his free agency will be pushed back for another year.

Meanwhile, Snead assured fans, who are criticizing the team for its slow pace in signing Donald to a long-term deal, that the Rams are doing everything they can to lock the defensive end to a long-term contract.

"That's what we're trying to do," Snead added. "It's a little more complicated than that. Definitely agree with the fans. We want to definitely try to pay Aaron what he's deserved and make him a Ram a long time."

The Rams boosted their defense in the offseason by signing defensive tackle Ndamukong Suh, defensive back Aqib Talib, and cornerback Marcus Peters.

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