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.