The Los Angeles Rams and All-Pro defensive tackle Aaron Donald have reached an agreement on a six-year, $135 million contract extension. The deal includes $87 million in guaranteed money.
This deal comes after two long years of holdouts and contract negotiations. Donald’s massive contract extension is the richest deal for a defensive player in NFL history and keeps him with the team through the 2024 season. The deal will earn Donald an average of $22.5 million per year. With a hefty $87 million in guaranteed money, expect Donald to be around for most of this contract.
Aaron Donald earned it
Donald has earned every cent of this paycheck. $22.5 million is a lot to pay for a non quarterback in todays NFL, but Donald may very well be the most valuable non quarterback in the league. Donald is a three time first team All-Pro, a four time Pro Bowler, and the reigning NFL Defensive Player of the Year. He consistently grades out as one of PFF’s top NFL players, usually topping the list. The Rams are contenders to win the Super Bowl. Windows close quickly in the NFL. Donald needed to remain in Los Angeles, no matter the cost.
More signings coming?
A small surprise in the deal is that Donald’s 2018 salary will only increase by two million dollars, which was all the cap space the Rams had left before restructuring the contracts of Robert Woods and Andrew Whitworth earlier this week. Since the $7 million in cap space isn’t going into Donald’s pocket, it is unclear what the Rams are planning with that money.
Donald will be ready to roll when the Rams open the season on September 10 in Oakland. This article will be updated as more details come in regarding the contract.
ESPN’s Adam Schefter was the first to report on the signing. You can read the team’s official story here.
Steve Rebeiro is a staff writer and podcast host for Rams Talk. He is an alumni of Marquette University. For more of his opinions, follow him on Twitter here.