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Aaron Donald contract remains Rams’ biggest offseason domino

By in Press Enterprise on January 11, 2018

By Rich Hammond

THOUSAND OAKS — The Rams would like to duplicate many parts of their 2017 season, with one notable exception: They’d like Aaron Donald to be around for all for it.

Donald, the Rams’ star defensive lineman, held out for all of training camp and missed the season opener because he sought a new contract. The situation still hasn’t been resolved, and that’s one of the items at the top of the to-do list for General Manager Les Snead and the Rams’ front office this offseason.

“I would be probably lying if I put a timeline on this one,” Snead said Wednesday at Cal Lutheran. “We want him to be a Ram a long time. So when we ink that deal, or not, I can’t put a timeline on it, but it is a major priority, as it always will be until we get it done.”

From a practical standpoint, Donald’s contract isn’t the Rams’ top concern, because he remains under contract for the 2018 season at a very reasonable salary of just under $6.9 million.

Meanwhile, free agency could gut the Rams’ secondary, given that cornerbacks Trumaine Johnson and Nickell Robey-Coleman, and safeties Lamarcus Joyner and Cody Davis are set to hit the market on March 15. Sammy Watkins, Connor Barwin, and John Sullivan also are notable free agents.

“We’ll have them all going on simultaneously and try to knock them out,” Snead said. “We’ve got a little bit of a general plan as it is now. We’ll come back and fine-tune it.”

The Rams’ season ended Saturday with a first-round playoff loss to Atlanta, and Snead said front-office folks took a step back this week, and will start to implement their offseason plan after the Super Bowl.

Part of that, Snead said, will include deciding when players currently under contract might be candidates to be released. […]    

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