It shouldn’t be a surprise that the week the preseason ends also has become “superstar contract extension week.” But the dollar amounts given to Odell Beckham Jr., Aaron Rodgers, and now, Aaron Donald might raise some eyebrows.
Donald became the latest to claim “richest contract ever” status. Beckham became the highest-paid wide receiver, Rodgers the highest-paid player, and Donald is now the highest-paid defensive player in NFL history.
The reported deal has Donald re-upping in Los Angeles to the tune of six years, $135 million. It includes a whopping $40 million signing bonus with at least $67 million guaranteed ($50 million of which to be paid out in the first two seasons.) It’s also important to note that this is an extension, so Donald should figure to be in Los Angeles for a long time.
Long time coming: Rams and Aaron Donald finalizing a record 6-year, $135 million, including $87 million guaranteed, per source. Richest Defensive deal in NFL history.
Donald now tied to LA for next seven years. And he will be ready for Monday night opener vs. Raiders.
— Adam Schefter (@AdamSchefter) August 31, 2018
And it’s not without merit. When Donald is at his best, there’s an argument to be made that the 27-year-old defensive lineman is the most dominating player in the NFL, regardless of position.
There was never any doubt that Donald would play for the Rams this season, but his holdout was coming close to something of a concern for Los Angeles. The deal that ultimately got done, however, was highly anticipated throughout training camp and the preseason. It was just the matter of working out some details, crossing the T’s and dotting the I’s.
Healthy pay raise in hand, Donald will enter his fifth season, all with the Rams. In the four prior, Aaron Donald accumulated 148 tackles with 56 assists and 39 sacks. Keep in mind, he’s done all of that with dealing with double-teams (even triple-teams on occasion) from opposing offensive lines.
In the 2014 NFL Draft, the 6’1”, 280-pound Pitt product went 13th overall in the first round to the Rams, then in St. Louis.
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