Aaron Donald’s presence at OTAs makes huge difference for Rams

(Photo by Gregory Shamus/Getty Images)
(Photo by Gregory Shamus/Getty Images) /

Unlike the previous two years, Aaron Donald is in full attendance for the Los Angeles Rams at this year’s OTAs.

Around this time last year, there was some frustration surrounding the Los Angeles Rams over the fact that Aaron Donald was absent from OTA’s as the now two-time Defensive Player of the Year made it clear he was unhappy with his contract situation.

Despite how impressive Donald looked the year before after holding out all of training camp and preseason, no one really knew what to expect last summer with the Rams star holding out for a second year in a row.

As every football fan went on to find out, Donald would eventually receive a hefty raise from Los Angeles after agreeing to six-year, $135 million extension right before the start of Week 1, and would go on to set a career high of 20.5 sacks.

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Once again, Donald continued to prove that he has one of the best work ethics across the NFL, as it was amazing to watch him put together this kind of 2018 campaign after working out on his own all summer.

But now that Donald is finally happy with being one of the league’s highest-paid players on defense, it’s given the Rams one less thing to worry about this week with OTAs taking place since there are no concerns over when their defensive superstar may show up.

Rightfully so, Donald had every reason in the world to feel he was being snubbed under his previous contract since the former Pittsburgh star was clearly a top defender in the league, and what the Rams were paying him compared to production was an absolute joke.

Still, Los Angeles was always the ones with the leverage to work with since Donald was under contract from his rookie deal, and the team seemed determined to take advantage of this for as long as they could before finally having to address the situation.

Right or wrong, all that matters is Donald got the kind of money he spent nearly two years fighting for, and the Rams can feel better knowing one of their top players will be around at least through the 2024 season.

Even if the Rams still felt confident about Donald putting in the work over the last two offseasons when he wasn’t taking part in some of these programs like OTAs with his teammates, it’s still been amazing to see his presence throughout this week.

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Before Los Angeles knows it, the start of training camp will officially be here, and if last year is any indication of what to expect from Donald, one can only imagine what 2019 will have in store for the five-time Pro Bowler.