2020 NFL contracts make LA Rams GM Les Snead’s deals bargains

(Photo by Michael Hickey/Getty Images) *** Local Capture *** Les Snead
(Photo by Michael Hickey/Getty Images) *** Local Capture *** Les Snead /
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LA Rams Les Snead
(Photo by Justin Berl/Getty Images) /

All-Pro DL Donald

When the LA Rams signed Aaron Donald to a six-year $134-million contract extension on August 31, 2018, the intent was to make him the highest-paid NFL non-quarterback. The Rams accomplished the task, but it lasted less than two years.  The fact is that All-Pro defensive lineman Aaron Donald is not only the best defensive player in the NFL today, but is arguably one of the best defenders of this millennium.

He is so good, that offenses routinely double and triple-team him to keep him in check. Despite attracting so many blockers, he continues to lead the NFL in production.  And yet, he is already down to the fourth-highest paid non-quarterback player in the NFL.  While there was never a question about Donald’s value to the LA Rams, the track record of GM Les Snead carries a bit of “Did they pay too much?” doubt with every deal that snead negotiates.

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Don’t pinch pennies with Donald

Donald is worth every penny. While other LA Rams players allowed a new deal to stunt their production, Aaron Donald put up incredible numbers once more. As such, he is an incredible value for the LA Rams defense. But the wave of ever-higher-paid players continues to magnify Donald’s worth to the Rams.

We’ll see what that means this year.  Both ILB Cory Littleton and OLB Dante Fowler Jr. have gone on to sign mega-deals with other NFL teams. Will they produce as much on defenses where Aaron Donald is not attracting so much attention from offensive linemen?  Some have their doubts  Meanwhile, the Rams will be looking for OLB Leonard Floyd and ILB Micah Kiser to step up this year. Will they do so by benefitting from Donald’s larger-than-life shadow?