The NFL is a deadline-driven industry. So is there a deadline driving the effort by the Rams to get defensive tackle Aaron Donald signed to a new contract?
“I don’t think so,” Rams coach Sean McVay said during a Monday visit to the #PFTPM podcast, “but I think for us ideally you’d like to be able to see a guy get in here a couple weeks before the season starts but in terms of a stern deadline we don’t have that. We’ve been in this situation before. Everybody knows how important Aaron is to us and how much we want to be able to get this thing done. In the meantime we’re appreciative of the guys that are here that are working but to say that there’s a stern deadline I wouldn’t say that but I think there is an ideal time where you’d like to get him in here to get him in football shape and feel confident that he’ll be ready to go and be healthy enough to participate just based on the things we’ve gotten exposed to before that first game.”
The Rams were indeed in that situation before. One year ago, when Donald showed up one day before the first game of the regular season and went on to become the defensive player of the year. Does that reduce the urgency to get him in before the season launches?
“I think they’re separate,” McVay said. “I think Aaron’s certainly a special player and a rare breed that he’s able to do that. We’d love to have Aaron here. I think there is a certain level of at least understanding like you’ve been there before. . . . Unfortunately we’ve kinda been in this road before and the one thing you do feel good about is that while he isn’t here, Aaron is one of those guys that he’s working his tail off doing everything he can in his power outside of this building to prepare himself to be ready to go if we’re able to come to a finality and get this thing worked out where everybody feels good about it.”
Last week, indications surfaced that a deal was close. But nothing is done until it’s done, and it’s still not yet done for the Rams and Donald.