The holdout that has struck fear in the hearts of Los Angeles Rams fans may soon be done with, as the team and defensive tackle Aaron Donald appear to be close in reaching a long-term extension.
Citing a league source, Mike Florio of Pro Football Talk reported that "chatter is increasing regarding the possibility of" Donald signing a new contract with the Rams. It was reported last week that he was set to hold out and would become a restricted free agent in 2019.
Per Spotrac.com, Donald will make $6.892 million for the 2018 season, and he's obviously worth more than double that. Donald was ranked by Pro Football Focus as the best player in all of 2017, earning a whopping 94.4 grade. He was also the top-ranked player by PFF in 2015, and second in 2016.
Drafted 13th overall by the Rams in 2014, Donald has quickly emerged as a franchise cornerstone for a club that was dreadful for over a decade. The four-time Pro Bowl and 2017 Defensive Player of the Year has 39 sacks and nine forced fumbles through his first four seasons.
The Rams, thanks in large part to Donald's efforts, won the NFC West division with an 11-5 record, ending their 13-year playoff drought. But Donald will have plenty of more star power to help him on the defensive side, as the Rams also added defensive lineman Ndamukong Suh and Pro Bowl cornerbacks Aqib Talib and Marcus Peters.
Donald and Suh are two of the most feared pass-rushers in all of football, and the Rams would be ludicrous to not re-sign their franchise player. The idea of him and Suh on the field together is something of epic proportions, and the Rams simply can't afford to pass up on that chance.
On paper, the Rams might have the best roster in all of football, provided Donald is part of the team. But the good news for Rams fans is that it sounds like a long-term deal is in place for the league's best player from 2017.