LA Rams We-not-me? Run it back rings awfully hollow right now

(Photo by Patrick T. FALLON / AFP) (Photo by PATRICK T. FALLON/AFP via Getty Images)
(Photo by Patrick T. FALLON / AFP) (Photo by PATRICK T. FALLON/AFP via Getty Images) /
6 of 6
LA Rams News Aaron Donald
Mandatory Credit: Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports /

Holding out for a hero

The LA Rams weathered holdouts by Aaron Donald in 2017 and in 2018. Over that time, Donald held out to force the team to renegotiate his rookie deal. He signed a massive six-year contract in 2018 that was worth $135 million. At the time, it was a true record-setter. But now? The LA Rams would need to come in at approximately six years for $210 million. Can this team afford to do so?

In theory, the Rams could set up a six-year deal with a $90 million signing bonus and an average $20 million salary per year. That could be structured this way:

  • Year       Salary               Bonus                  Cash to player       Salary Cap hit
  1. 2022     $ 3,000,000    $90,000,000      $93,000,000         $18,000,000
  2. 2023     $15,000,000   $ 5,000,000       $20,000,000         $35,000,000
  3. 2024     $17,000,000   $ 5,000,000       $22,000,000         $37,000,000
  4. 2025     $19,000,000   $ 6,000,000       $25,000,000         $40,000,000
  5. 2026     $22,000,000   $ 3,000,000       $25,000,000         $40,000,000
  6. 2027     $25,000,000    $0                         $25,000,000         $40,000,000

So what else needs to take place? Well, we know that Aaron Donald is the first professional athlete to sign on with Kanye West’s Donda Sports. It appears that this business relationship is designed to line Aaron Donald’s pockets with endorsements, commercials, and perhaps even acting in movies and television series in the future.

Endorsement deals could be vital now

Why shouldn’t he? We had discussed how playing for the LA Rams meant a secondary career in acting for Rams players after they hung up their cleats. Now, that door appears to be swinging wide once more. And if it is not opening on its own, then Aaron Donald is kicking the damned thing in.

We’ve seen a number of athletes cross over into cinema careers. Dwayne Johnson and John Cena are two that come to mind from the WWE. Arnold Schwarzenegger and Lou Ferrigno successfully crossed over from bodybuilding. And the list of NFL players who found secondary careers by acting is extensive, even if only considering LA Rams fans.

So where does this rather lengthy discussion leave us for now? Well, Aaron Donald is actively pondering his options after his NFL career, and his new affiliations with YE’s Donda Sports should be a strong positive for him in that direction. Donald has held out twice before in attempting to pressure the LA Rams to renegotiate his current contract to restore his place among the highest-paid athletes in the world.

And there is a path to make all these things happen. But it will take time and careful planning by the LA Rams to pull it off.  Does that help? I hope so. Aaron Donald is only doing what we all do in our lives. He is taking care of business and his family today. But he is keeping one eye trained on his future.

I can’t fault him for that.

Trending. LA Rams defensive lineman Aaron Donald’s castle is his new home. light