Aaron Donald avoids financial loss, minimizes injury risk

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Rams defensive tackle Aaron Donald wanted to turn the current rookie wage structure upside down. While he didn’t quite do so (yet), Donald has created a new precedent for players caught between picks No. 11 and 32 in the draft.

Per a source with knowledge of the situation, the Rams agreed to waive $1.48 million in fines in return for Donald reporting to the team today. By reporting today, Donald also avoided signing bonus forfeiture of $711,500 and the loss of a $106.014 game check. Also, the Rams have agreed that none of Donald’s remaining guarantees ($8.694 million) have been waived by the contract breach arising from the holdout.

So he’s exactly where he would have been financially, if he’d shown up for training camp (minus the per diem and piddly game checks for the preseason). Equally as important, Donald also avoided all injury risk arising from training camp and the preseason. Conversely, Giants receiver Odell Beckham Jr. showed up for training camp — and nearly suffered a season-ending injury during a preseason game.

Talks will continue on a long-term deal for Donald. If one happens this year, great. If not, look for Donald to consider the same approach in 2018.

Either way, look for other plays who are subject to a fifth-year rookie option and who aren’t in the top-10 transition tag range to consider following Donald’s lead if they don’t get a new contract after their first three NFL seasons.

17 responses to “Aaron Donald avoids financial loss, minimizes injury risk

  1. Well why donesnt the league just go back to bloated rookie contracts to unproven picks right out of the gate so they assume 0 risk and have no skin in the game to earn their their next deal at the expense of proven vets who have paid their dues?

    For every Aaron Donald, there is a JaBustus Russell.

  2. All it would take was for one team to set the precedent to not forgive all the fines and the players may rethink holding out. I understand if you’re in the last year of your contract but with two years left I’m not. He’ll leave and go to a team that will pay him a ton but still be a loser then complain about how he’s tired of losing.

  3. “Talks will continue on a long-term deal for Donald. If one happens this year, great. If not, look for Donald to consider the same approach in 2018.”

    Because this one was so successful? He ought to fire his agent.

  4. Pretty soon ALL the starters are going to “hold out” during the pre season and then start week 1. It’s just like college players walking away from bowl games because they are worthless.

  5. I understand his point of not wanting to get hurt, because if he did suffer a major injury he could lose maybe $50 million of future earnings. But now he still has a chance to get hurt and miss out on all that money. So if the Rams offer you a fair deal based on your past performance, you should sign it quick.

  6. haha, wow, I wish I saw this before replying in the other thread. So he had his fines waived and basically got to sit on his butt for training camp and pre season while his teammates had to deal with that garbage. Nice.

    Can’t wait to see more players doing this going forward as they will expect teams to capitulate which they probably will. Just let the inmates run the asylum.

  7. That was incredibly stupid by the Rams, now when he comes back and is ineffective or, more likely, get’s hurt Aaron’s team will say at least it wasn’t preseason. He actually increased his injury risk of getting hurt during the season. What does it matter when it happened? An injury during the season still put’s him in the same risk category. It’s not like the starters played more than 30 minutes of game time over the entire preseason anyway.

    Also, Odell Beckham could’ve gotten the same injury in week 1 as he did in the preseason. The belief that players can just show up for the regular season and be superman just boggle the mind.

  8. Avoided the injury risk of training camp….but is now more likely to get injured during the season since he’s not in game shape.

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