The Rams should be in no hurry to sign Aaron Donald to an extension

(Photo by Ezra Shaw/Getty Images)
(Photo by Ezra Shaw/Getty Images) /

Believe it or not, Aaron Donald might not be the top priority for the Los Angeles Rams this offseason, and it is smart that he isn’t.

Sometimes the long view is much better than the shortsighted, anxiety filled one that leads to a bad decision. For the Los Angeles Rams, it makes all the sense in the world to wait on signing Aaron Donald, the Defensive Player of the Year, to an extension.

Yeah, I know. Cue the eye rolling and teeth-gnashing.

But let’s be honest, the price now and the price seven months from now doesn’t change much if at all. And while Rams General Manager Les Snead has it pointed out to him with great regularity about getting a deal done sooner rather than later, he knows time is on his side.

Snead also knows all the cards are with LA, not with Donald.

(Photo by Otto Greule Jr /Getty Images)
(Photo by Otto Greule Jr /Getty Images) /

This is a deal that gets done eventually, but the Rams also know that the bigger, more critical deals are not/is not the one that is attached to their All Everything defensive tackle. Meaning the organization will go through free agency AND the NFL Draft before doing anything for the DPOY. Don’t misunderstand, Donald is a priority, just not the first one in Los Angeles, and whatever leverage he had evaporated when he ended his holdout last year.

Also as a reminder, the laundry list this offseason is long for the Rams, and they’ll be active in free agency and defense focused in the draft. After a year of bringing in a host of parts for Jared Goff and Sean McVay, this offseason is all about keeping the defense one of the best in the league.

Donald is only one part of that equation.

Make no mistake, he’ll get paid and paid a lot. But the Rams know that he’ll need to fit into THEIR plans if Los Angeles is going to compete beyond this just completed season, and both sides know that. Los Angeles has options, and may be smart to let this go through the 2018 season. Worst case scenario, they use the franchise tag and buy more time if needed next year.

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Right now, and for the foreseeable future, the Rams have a quantifiable bargain who is also the Defensive Player of the Year.

LA fans might have to get used to the idea that it’ll be awhile before he is locked up beyond 2018 or even 2019.

So too will Donald.