Rams G.M. Les Snead calls Aaron Donald contract “a priority”

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The Rams’ best player is holding out of training camp, and General Manager Les Snead knows he needs to do something about that.

Snead and Rams head coach Sean McVay called a press conference specifically to talk about holdout defensive tackle Aaron Donald, and they both stressed that they want to get a new contract with him done.

“Aaron is a priority,” Snead said. “The goal is still the same, make Aaron a Ram for a long, long time, so that didn’t change at all. I definitely respect Aaron as a human, respect the process.”

But while the Rams are saying they want to give Donald a new deal, they have leverage because Donald is still a long way from free agency: Donald is under contract for $1.8 million this year and $6.9 million next year. The Rams could then franchise tag him in 2019 and 2020. It will be a long time before Donald can negotiate with any other team.

Which is why Donald wants the one team he can negotiate with now to know that he means business. Holding out of camp is the way to get that message across.

13 responses to “Rams G.M. Les Snead calls Aaron Donald contract “a priority”

  1. the next cba should be interesting—the players should negotiate hard to abolish the franchise tag which is unfair to the very best players

  2. He willingly signed his contract and it includes all the provisions negotiated between the players union and the team, including franchise tags, etc. IMO, he plays or he sits.

    There’s nothing new in his contract. He and his agent knew everything in there and agreed, in writing, to all its provisions.

  3. Enos Stan Kroenke has one method of operation and that is to destroy once proud fan’s interest.
    In the last ten season’s his Nuggets have dropped 14.3% in attendance while his Avalanche dropped 15.8%. In the Ram’s case watch LA drop like a rock
    with or without Donald.

  4. He has a contract. He should honor it and report. If everyone wants the highest paid contract – and guaranteed at that – eventually the league will implode. All because of greed.

  5. I wonder if the fans that argue that he should play because he signed a contract get upset when their team cuts a guy, which is not honoring the full contract. Donald’s career can be over in one play. He is one of if not the best DT in the league. Why begrudge a man trying to make the money he can while he can make it. If I were out performing my contract by as much as Donald has his, I would be asking for a raise as well regardless if I had two years left or not.

  6. An injury can happen at any time. When they come the unpublicized injury clause kicks in. So the play makes less anyway. He may as well report while trying to renegotiate. Football is a team game and selfish people only have their own interests in mind – not the teams. If they don’t have a contract they have no business being there. But Donald has one and can’t lead or contribute to the team by sitting at home.

  7. He’s under contract for 2 MORE YEARS! If the Rams redo his contract now, then what’s to stop other guys with 2 years left from doing the same damn thing? They’re setting a precedent here, whichever way they go. He probably is bellyaching about Carr, also drafted in 2014, getting a big new contract, but as a 2nd round pick he was only signed for 1 more season and that’s why his deal got done. Mack is in the same boat, but at least he’s smart enough to realize the reality of the situation and so will go out there and dominate in 2017 knowing he’ll get paid next year. Donald should do the same.

  8. ramfanmatt says:
    I wonder if the fans that argue that he should play because he signed a contract get upset when their team cuts a guy, which is not honoring the full contract.

    I’m sure you believe you wrote something profound, but it’s clear you have no idea how NFL contracts work.
    NFL teams ARE honoring their contracts. If they weren’t, they’d be in court every day defending lawsuits they couldn’t win.
    NFL contracts are not guaranteed, any more than the vast majority of working relationships outside of the NBA or MLB are not guaranteed, including probably yours and mine.
    NFL contracts are really a string of one-year deals. In order to avoid the chaos of making every player a free agent every year, each deal includes option years which spell out in advance what the player will make each subsequent year of the deal. However, those subsequent years kick in only at the team’s discretion. If the team does not exercise its option the player is released and becomes a free agent (something many players aspire to be). That’s the deal the player and his agent accept when they sign on the dotted line.
    In exchange for committing to those team-favorable option years, the players get a certain portion of their contract guaranteed (in the form of a signing bonus), sometimes in the tens of millions of dollars. That means a guy can underachieve, or play like a bum, or mail it in and that money is his to keep.
    Teams are NOT breaking the terms of a deal when they cut a player. Players are NOT honoring the deal they signed when they hold out. That doesn’t mean they can’t or shouldn’t ASK for more, or that a team can’t or shouldn’t GIVE more if they wish (it’s often a very good idea, including in the case of Aaron Donald). But they don’t have to, and your apples to oranges comparison is highly flawed.

  9. Great post, Dregon.
    Just look to how the Patriots do business. When they feel a guy is done, they get rid of him. No tears, no boo-hoos. Just goodbye and the fans are fine with it,

  10. This franchise that went 4-12 last year and hasn’t had a winning season since 2003 has the least amount of salary cap room of all 32 teams. They have the worst cap management in the NFL. They give out huge contracts to players like Tavon Austin ($15 million cap hit) and $11 million cap hits for Mark Barron and Michael Brockers. That’s why they can’t sign Donald right now.

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