How critical was No Trade clause for LA Rams Aaron Donald?

Mandatory Credit: Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports
Mandatory Credit: Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports /

The LA Rams did not extend All-Pro defensive lineman Aaron Donald. Before his new contract, he was signed for three more seasons – through 2024. After his new contract, he remains signed for three more seasons. So the reality is that Aaron Donald’s obligation to the LA Rams in terms of years on the current contract has not changed.

We’ll break down the entire contract, but as we craft that article, this little fact deserves its own article and separate discussion. All in all, the new contract has plenty of twists and turns but is pretty straightforward. In fact, the effect of the new contract with Aaron Donald boils down to three basic but fundamental issues:

First, the contract adds a lot more money to Donald’s compensation.

Second, the contract guarantees Aaron Donald’s compensation. No partial guarantees. No incentive clauses. Fully obligated contract with no offsets.

Third, the contract is now rumored to include a no-trade clause. That clause was reported by ESPN’s NFL Insider Jeremy Fowler:

So the focus of this article is on that No Trade clause. Why was it specified? Was that part of the holdup?

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No Trade clause is very player-friendly

If you have ever served in the US Military, you know just how chaotic a move can be. Even as you know the timetable can run 12 months, 18 months, 24 months, or 36 months, the expiration of Permanent Change of Station (PCS) orders uprooted military members, their spouses, and even their children and cast them into a new part of the country or even world.

Moving is not fun. With children, it can be nightmarish. So it only makes sense that every NFL player would seek a ‘don’t trade me without permission,’ clause in their contracts. And we could make the mistake of viewing this purely from the perspective that LA Rams Aaron Donald wants to control when and how he and his family move.

But that would be a bit short-sighted on our part. Aaron Donald has played for the Rams since his rookie season in 2014. He played for two years in St. Louis and the remaining six seasons in Los Angeles. Over that time, he has witnessed plenty of players come and go.

The cost of NFL fame

But in the past two seasons, he had witnessed the LA Rams cut RB Todd Gurley, trade WR Brandin Cooks, trade DT Michael Brockers, trade QB Jared Goff, and even trade WR Robert Woods. After the Rams appeared in Super Bowl LIII, all five players seemed very untouchable, untradeable and destined to retire from the NFL as LA Rams.

By the time the LA Rams competed in Super Bowl LVI, all but one was gone. The lone survivor, WR Robert Woods was injured and would be traded shortly afterward. Today, before a single snap occurs, those five stars of Super Bowl LIII are gone.

Those events do not go unnoticed by players. Right now, the category of untouchable and untradeable players likely includes Donald, Matthew Stafford, Jalen Ramsey, Cooper Kupp, and perhaps Leonard Floyd. How many will be with the team in three more seasons?

Well, Aaron Donald will be around. All thanks to his rumored ‘No trade’ clause.

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