Did Rams Aaron Donald misfire in ending holdout?

ST. LOUIS, MO - DECEMBER 17: Aaron Donald
ST. LOUIS, MO - DECEMBER 17: Aaron Donald /

Los Angeles Rams defensive tackle Aaron Donald was in uniform and back on the field this past Sunday against the Washington Redskins. The rust was apparent as his play would suggest, making some wonder if ending his holdout was a mistake that may cost him valuable leverage.

Los Angeles Rams defensive tackle Aaron Donald made his 2017 debut this mast Sunday in a 27-20 loss loss at home to the Washington Redskins. He got to Kirk Kirk Cousins one time, nearly stripped a handoff, but was, for the most part, something of a ghost.

Which is to say his impact on the field was a jersey with his last name on it.

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Donald ending his holdout was inconsequential against the Redskins. With no training camp or preseason under his belt, he’s basically working his way back into game shape. For Rams fans, it’s great to have him back. For the organization and team, it’s awesome he’s back on the field. After this past Sunday and his lukewarm performance, it may not be so great for him.

As honorable as it was that he reported back to Los Angeles to play while working out a new deal, such an act may have cost him valuable leverage he can’t get back. He’ll have to count on the Rams ‘making good’ on taking care of him.


Only Donald can determine that in the postscript of however this plays out. But the idea that he’d merely flip the switch and be the player fans and NFL offenses know wasn’t and won’t be on the field for awhile.

If Washington was the equivalent of his first preseason game, expect the San Francisco 49ers tonight to be his second, and Maybe the Dallas Cowboys to be another.

This is, in effect, the post-holdout playbook.

I can appreciate it either way.

If Donald had continued his holdout, the burden is on the Rams to find a pathway to get him renegotiated and back on the field.

However, him voluntarily returning places him in a unique situation to work on a timetable of LA’s choosing. It’s up to Donald to determine how much good faith he’ll extend.

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Again, you have to appreciate the DT’s willingness to offer an olive branch to the Los Angeles Rams. His relationship with the organization is sure to be tested as he and his representatives navigate a new deal. But on Sunday, Aaron Donald looked remarkably average.

He’d better hope to play better this week and moving forward. “Average” won’t help him when you want to be paid as being better than such.