LA Rams investment in Aaron Donald was the right move

Mandatory Credit: Gary A. Vasquez-USA TODAY Sports
Mandatory Credit: Gary A. Vasquez-USA TODAY Sports /
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LA Rams News Aaron Donald Les Snead
Mandatory Credit: Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports /

Taking care of business

While there is the underlying intention of paying Aaron Donald more money, the LA Rams also had incentives to entre into a new agreement. Thanks to the decline of the 2021 NFL salary cap due to the shortfalls of revenue, the LA Rams had to work feverishly to push 2021 salary dollars into 2022 and beyond. Renegotiated contracts for Matthew Stafford, Aaron Donald, and Cooper Kupp allowed the front office to smooth out those salary cap hits well into the future.

The bottom line is that Aaron Donald’s salary cap footprint drops from a previous $26.5 million in 2022 to $24 million.   How is that possible?
Here’s the breakdown of the deal:

  1. Bonus at signing: $25 million
  2. 2022 base salary: $1.5 million, fully guaranteed
  3. 2023 base salary: $13.5 million, guaranteed
  4. 2024 base salary: $30 million, fully guaranteed
  5. 2022 roster bonus: $5 million, fully guaranteed
  6. 2023 roster bonus: $15 million, fully guaranteed
  7. 2024 roster bonus: $5 million, fully guaranteed

The LA Rams added two void years in 2025 and 2026. Those years allow the Rams to spread the $25 million signing bonus over 5 years, rather than the 3 years life of the active contract.

Investing in a nearly sure-thing

The money is not only amplified, but it is fully guaranteed. And there is a no trade clause, as well as no offset language. That means if Aaron Donald agrees to be traded, the LA Rams are still on the hook for all monies, and cannot reduce the amount paid by the amount another team agrees to pay Donald.

What do the LA Rams get for all of this in return? Well the last time the LA Rams ‘took care’ of Aaron Donald, he lit up the NFL with 20.5 quarterback sacks, 59 tackles, and 41 QB hits that year. Will he light up the NFL once more?

Well, he is Aaron Donald, he is a good investment, and he just got paid. Pretty much anything is possible from him now. Grab the popcorn, sit back, and enjoy the show.

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