Rams defensive tackle Aaron Donald‘s desire for a new contract was a major storyline of the team’s offseason last year as Donald stayed away from the team for offseason work and training camp before returning in time for the regular season.
Donald’s absence didn’t appear to hurt him on the field while he was putting together another excellent season as the leader of the defense for the NFC West champs. The prospect of not having Donald on hand to provide that level of performance keeps his contract hopes on the front burner for Rams General Manager Les Snead.
“To be honest with you, I would be probably lying if I put a timeline on this one,” Snead said, via the team’s website. “But, like I’ve always said with Aaron … we want him to be a Ram a long time. So when we ink that deal or not — I can’t put a timeline on it. But it is a major priority, as it always will be until we get it done. … I don’t know necessarily in terms of last or first, what I do know is, he’s an important domino. But the way we attack that list of names, can’t say that Aaron would be first. We’ll have them all going on simultaneously and try to knock them out. We’ve got a little bit of a general plan as it is now. We’ll come back and fine tune it.”
If Donald isn’t first, it will likely be because he’s under contract for the 2018 season. Wide receiver Sammy Watkins, cornerback Trumaine Johnson and safety Lamarcus Joyner are headed for free agency and that could put them a bit higher on Snead’s initial to-do list this offseason.