THOUSAND OAKS, Calif. – Aaron Donald is skipping another set of offseason workouts while his contract negotiations with the Los Angeles Rams drag on into their second year.
The All-Pro defensive tackle’s teammates would like to see this standoff resolved before it has any chance to impact their promising season.
“Hey man, pay the man,” cornerback Marcus Peters said. “You win the MVP? Come on now.”
Donald was back home in Pittsburgh while the Rams began voluntary organized team activities at their training complex Monday. He also skipped the start of their offseason program in April.
He is missing the first steps in the assembly of a potentially impressive defense. Peters joined the Rams in the offseason along with fellow star cornerback Aqib Talib and defensive lineman Ndamukong Suh – but they haven’t yet teamed up with Donald, who turns 27 years old Wednesday.
“Aaron is a vet, man,” Talib said. “He’s going to take care of his own business. What’s his business is his business.”
Donald is due to make $6.89 million this season in the final year of his rookie contract, and the Rams theoretically could keep him for three additional years under a franchise tag. But he has been one of the NFL’s top defensive linemen since his career began in 2014, and the Rams’ front office has claimed it is eager to sign Donald to a long-term contract.
Donald also skipped most of last year’s offseason activities in his lengthy quest for a contract befitting his talent and accomplishments. That holdout lasted through training camp and the entire preseason while he attempted to land a new contract likely to make him the highest-paid defensive player in the NFL.
He missed the Rams’ season opener after reporting to the team one day before the game. Donald still was named the NFL’s Defensive Player of the Year despite playing in only 14 games while the Rams roared to the NFC West title and his first postseason appearance.
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