We will see what we shall see: LA Rams Aaron Donald mandatory OTAs

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

The news from the LA Rams over the newly inked deal with Aaron Donald is a very positive sign, and a necessary step in the right direction for the team’s offseason ‘To do,’ list.  While fans were stuck on the edge of their seats, the LA Rams organization seemed to have everything under control.

Isn’t that the way it goes sometimes? Uncertainty is a lot like a light switch. In a dark room, the switch is impossible to find, and we search, speculate, and do not really know much about the situation. When we finally stumble upon it and flick the switch, everything is revealed and much of the searching seems utterly ridiculous.

Now that Aaron Donald is signed for a lot of money, the calm demeanor of Rams head coach Sean McVay makes sense. He never doubted that an agreement would happen.

So in the court of public opinion, where do you fall? Do you believe that yes, he deserves the raise? Or would you rather the team held their ground and forced a disgruntled Donald to play for the next two seasons on his original deal, hoping that he would not retire?

But before you answer that question, let’s just remind you why the LA Rams and many of the NFL pundits believe that the pay raise was deserved and earned:

Aaron Donald is the pace-setter for this defense. If he is happy, the defense is happy.  Right now, he is ecstatic. If you hadn’t noticed, a happy Aaron Donald is a very dangerous Aaron Donald.

Rams 2022 DL

What does this mean for the LA Rams in 2022? Well, two things. I believe now that the Rams have elevated him to the highest-paid non-QB in the NFL, he will be even more motivated to deliver on the field. That could mean another spike in quarterback sacks and pressures coming this year. And the fact that the Rams have the same defensive coordinator, Raheem Morris,  for the first time in three seasons would also seem to support that projection.

But even as Donald will apply more pressure, I don’t believe that his tackles, which were a career-high 84 in 2021, will suffer this year. The Rams starting trio of A’Shawn Robinson, Greg Gaines, and Aaron Donald have been incredibly effective and complementary to one another’s skill sets.

With Donald getting paid, and both Robinson and Gaines on the last year of their respective contracts, the LA Rams defensive front could put up one helluva show. Pro Football Focus projects the Rams’ defensive line to be the top-rated DL in the NFL in 2022. The way the defensive line is sizing up, that projection could be a sure thing.

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