Los Angeles Rams: Tuesday deadline for Aaron Donald showing up seems meaningless

(Photo by Steve Dykes/Getty Images)
(Photo by Steve Dykes/Getty Images) /

Despite a key deadline on Tuesday for Aaron Donald to show up to training camp for the Los Angeles Rams, this really isn’t that big of a deal.

In a matter of days, the Los Angeles Rams will participate in their first preseason game of 2018 when they square off against the Baltimore Ravens, which will be a good early test to see where this team stands.

After their surprise success from last season that resulted in the team overtaking the Seattle Seahawks in the division, the Rams were already expected to be one of the top contenders in the NFC once again in 2018. But with a key signing in Ndamukong Suh along with boosting the receiving corps by acquiring Brandin Cooks, those expectations were taken to a whole new level heading into training camp.

With that being said, the high expectations could be difficult to reach if Aaron Donald, who has been holding out of camp for the second year in a row, continues to be missing in action. As if last summer wasn’t already frustrating enough when it comes to Donald wanting a new deal, the defensive superstar seems to have some extra leverage this time around since he’s entering the final year of his rookie contract.

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Sooner or later, Donald is going to become a very rich man, whether it’s the Rams or another team, when looking at how quickly he’s become one of the league’s top defensive players. And even though Donald technically has a Tuesday deadline to report to camp to avoid losing an accrued season, and become a restricted free agent after this season, deep down this seems kind of meaningless.

As Adam Schefter points out, it doesn’t really matter if Donald is a restricted or unrestricted free agent since the Rams would still have the option of using the franchise tag on him, which would most likely make him even more frustrated over the situation.

Of course, the ideal scenario is Donald doesn’t even find himself in the situation of possibly receiving the franchise tag for the 2019 season since the preference would be to see a deal get done before September rolls around.

On defense, the Rams would most likely be able to figure out a way to still dominate opponents without Donald since Wade Phillips has plenty of talent to work with, but also having the former Pittsburgh star gives the unit a huge advantage.

Plus, one of the major reasons behind the excitement of signing Suh this offseason was the fact that he would be playing on the same defensive line as Donald with the result of being a nightmare for opposing quarterbacks.

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The fact that this entire situation has dragged on into the first week of preseason is obviously frustrating, but for the Rams fans concerned over Donald failing to show up before Tuesday’s deadline, deep down this really isn’t that big of a deal.