Los Angeles Rams...PAY THE MAN!

By Michael Pelletier, BBM Staff Writer

It’s insane that the best player (you read correctly) in the National Football League has been waiting on a deal for at least two years now. Aaron Donald, defensive lineman for the Los Angeles Rams and reigning Defensive Player of the Year, is in his second season in a row of holding out until a deal has been made.

Does Aaron Donald deserve to be one of the highest paid players in the NFL? (photo credit: Getty Images)
Ever since he was drafted in the 2014 NFL Draft, Donald has proven time and time again to the Rams and the entire NFL organization that he is the best player in the league. His numbers speak for themselves. In his rookie season, Donald had almost 50 tackles while also adding on nine sacks and two forced fumbles. Doing this earned him a slot in the Pro Bowl that year, as well as, the Defensive Rookie of the Year Award. Since then, Donald has been selected for the Pro Bowl for the past three seasons and won Defensive Player of the Year last season, even after not playing two games of the regular season (he chose to miss the first game due to contract issues and then did not play the last game of the regular season because the Rams had already clinched the playoff berth). He also ranked on the NFL Top 100 Players list in the past three seasons (14th, 15th, & 7th). He achieved all of this, mind you, as an INTERIOR lineman.

He is the ultimate defensive game changer. Super Bowl Champion and 4x Pro Bowl quarterback Russell Wilson said in an interview with CBS Sports that Donald is “the best defensive player” he’s ever played against. His quickness and hand movements are rare to see for an interior lineman. Generally, interior defensive linemen are meant to tower over the quarterback’s view of the field in a pass play while causing pressure up the middle, and they are also meant to stuff the middle or shift the line in a run play. Donald, however, takes pressuring the QB to a whole new level bulling through the middle of the offensive line adding more pressure than any QB is generally used to.

Von Miller, outside linebacker of the Denver Broncos, is currently the highest paid defensive player in the NFL. He makes a little over $19 million a year with $42 million guaranteed. According to USA Today, the Rams have offered about $20 million per year to Donald. This would make him the highest paid defensive player currently in the league. Isn’t that the goal? Yes and no.

Making Aaron Donald the highest paid defensive player is the right move. He has the talent and stats and career (so far) that warrant for such a move by the Rams. If the reports are true and Donald is offered about $20 million per year, then that is more of a slap in the face than anything. It’s like the Rams are saying “alright, here’s a tad bit more, but just enough to make you the highest paid player and to shut you up”. If Donald is going to get a huge deal, why not make it one for the ages? Since Les Snead first said that there’s enough in the pot for Donald after all the trades they made, new addition Brandin Cooks and 2015 draft pick Todd Gurley have received new deals. They do deserve them for sure, but this is getting to be too long of a process. Donald has already started skipping the Rams training camp with no end to the holdout in sight. The process is getting lengthy and there’s no doubt in mind that other teams are waiting to snatch him up with massive deals if the Rams cannot agree to terms. Donald tweeted out the hour glass emoji and everyone knows what that means. He’s clearly getting restless and tired of the situation.

So are we, Aaron. So are we.

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