Los Angeles Rams: Khalil Mack’s debut should motivate Aaron Donald for Week 1
After seeing Khalil Mack’s first performance with the Chicago Bears after signing a hefty new deal, now it’s up to Aaron Donald to do the same with the Los Angeles Rams.
It’s hard to believe after all of the months patiently waiting for the new season to get underway, the Los Angeles Rams will finally kick things off on Monday day when taking on the Oakland Raiders.
From seeing how the starters on offense will perform after resting all of preseason to what this revamped defense will look like, the Rams have plenty of interesting storylines worth monitoring in this first game against the Raiders.
However, the argument can be made that nothing will compare to the kind of impact Aaron Donald hopefully can make after holding out all of training camp and preseason over a new contract, which he finally earned after the preseason finale.
Dating back to last offseason, Donald has been pushing hard to convince the team to reward him with a contract he strongly believed he was worthy of. And after seeing the two sides agree on a hefty six-year, $135 million extension, Los Angeles has plenty of reasons to be thrilled over the fact that holding out won’t be an issue anytime soon for Donald with this deal that was record setting for almost a full 24 hours.
The very next day after Donald and the Rams finally reached an agreement, the Chicago Bears acquire Khalil Mack, who had been holding out as well, from the Oakland Raiders to provide an extra weapon to their defense while rewarding him with a new record-settling deal.
Throughout training camp and preseason, these two star defenders seemed to be waiting for one another when it comes to seeing who ended up getting a deal first so the other could use it as leverage.
Mack’s record deal (six-year, $141 million extension) may have topped Donald’s by a little bit, but when seeing how much of an impact he made right away during his Bears debut Sunday night, now it’s up to the Rams top defender to do the same when facing the Raiders.
Originally, Chicago seemed hesitant about the risk of using Mack too much since he was still playing catch up from the standpoint of being in shape along with learning the new defense. But after seeing Mack waste little time showing what he can bring to the Bears’ defense by recording a sack in Sunday’s loss along with recording an interception for a touchdown, Matt Nagy has plenty of reasons to smile over his new defensive weapon.
Donald matching this kind of productivity when taking on Derek Carr and the Raiders may be difficult since Mack’s performance was one of a kind, but knowing the former Pittsburgh star’s history, would anyone really be surprised if he put together a stellar performance of his own?
Clearly, Donald is a special kind of player that is going to be an absolute nightmare for opposing quarterbacks whenever he steps foot on the field each week.
Mack has already set the bar high for Donald heading into Monday’s game, and with a hefty new contract officially under his belt, here’s to hoping the Rams star defender plays with a little extra motivation himself to shine while playing in the national spotlight against the Raiders.