5 free agents Rams can sign to replace Aaron Donald

NFC Wild Card Playoffs - Los Angeles Rams Aaron Donald
NFC Wild Card Playoffs - Los Angeles Rams Aaron Donald / Kevin Sabitus/GettyImages
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Before we get into the article, let's just clear the air right now by stating that nobody can replace LA Rams legend Aaron Donald. But in the context of creating article titles, and the limits to the English language. that's what the LA Rams football team must strive to do.

Let's look at this from another angle. The front office must find a player or players who can turn 867 regular season snaps into 8.0 quarterback sacks, 53 tackles, 16 tackles for a loss, and 23 quarterback hits. While that may be more than one person can produce, the team is not limited to just one player.

Somehow, the team must find a way to proceed in 2024 without DL Aaron Donald. We know that no single player can replace him.

But what about platooning players? And what of the existing young players on the roster already? The team had a sampling of the life after Aaron Donald when he was benched for six games in 2022. While the season was already in peril due to injuries to offensive linemen, the defense did not collapse without Donald's presence. Other players upped their game, and the defense did not suddenly surrender an excessive number of touchdowns.

Trade for Philadelphia Eagles Haason Reddick

The first option that everyone has considered is to pick up the phone, call the Philadelphia Eagles, and negotiate an instant trade for Haason Reddick. We know that the Eagles gave Reddick and his representation permission to seek a trade, which is often a harbinger to an outright release or a substantial cut in pay and or the number of snaps for that player.

Rams fans recognize Reddick from his days playing for the Arizona Cardinals. He finally exploded for 12.5 QB sacks In his contract year for the Cardinals, and leveraged that burst of production to land a contract with the Carolina Panthers for one year, and then for the Philadelphia Eagles for two years.

The Eagles have younger players pushing hard for more playing time, and the front office wants to see them get it. Reddick is turning 30 years old this year, and he sees the writing on the wall.

One of the areas that limits his trade value is the demand for a new contract that averages $25 million per year. The New York Giants pried DE/OLB Brian Burns from the Carolina Panthers for a 2024 NFL Draft pick in Round 2, and a 2025 NFL Draft pick in Round 5. Reddick is four years older, so the best that the Eagles can hope for is a conditional draft pick in Round 3, or a pick in Round 4.

Standing 6-foot-1 and weighing 240 pounds, Reddick would slide into the Rams outside linebacker position, perhaps necessitating the return of Michael Hoecht to a defensive lineman role. But are the Rams so willing to part with picks? After landing OLB Byron Young and NT Kobie Turner in the 2023 NFL Draft, I'm not so sure. What other options do the Rams have?