Report: Aaron Donald to Continue Rams Holdout, Will Be '19 Restricted Free Agent

Scott Polacek@@ScottPolacekFeatured ColumnistAugust 6, 2018

GLENDALE, AZ - DECEMBER 03:  Defensive end Aaron Donald #99 of the Los Angeles Rams reacts after a tackle against the Arizona Cardinals during the second half of the NFL game at the University of Phoenix Stadium on December 3, 2017 in Glendale, Arizona.  The Rams defeated the Cardinals 32-16.  (Photo by Christian Petersen/Getty Images)
Christian Petersen/Getty Images

Los Angeles Rams defensive tackle Aaron Donald reportedly "has no plans to rejoin the team" in the near future as he continues his contract holdout.

Adam Schefter of ESPN reported the news, noting Donald's determination not to rejoin the team is unchanged by the fact he "would have to report to Rams' camp by Tuesday to make sure this counts as an accrued season and he wouldn't be a restricted free agent next offseason."

Mike Florio of Pro Football Talk added further explanation to the situation, noting the collective bargaining agreement states players don't accrue credit for a season in terms of building toward free agency if they don't report to camp by the 30th day before the regular season begins.

Since Donald held out into September last season, he has just three years of credit even though the 2018 season will be his fifth in the league. Staying at three years by holding out again this year will prevent him from becoming an unrestricted free agent next offseason and instead make him a restricted one.

"We're scheduled to meet together with [general manager] Les [Snead], [chief operating officer] Kevin [Demoff], myself and [senior assistant] Tony [Pastoors] tonight to discuss kind of where we are at," head coach Sean McVay said Saturday, per Florio. "There really hasn't been much progress in terms of the dialogue since camp. I know that we're very intentional about trying to get him here, love to have him."

Donald has performed like someone worthy of a new contract since he was a first-round pick in 2014.

He was a Pro Bowler in each of his first four seasons, is a three-time First Team All-Pro member and won the 2014 Defensive Rookie of the Year. What's more, he was the league's Defensive Player of the Year last season despite playing just 14 games.

Donald watched wide receiver Brandin Cooks and running back Todd Gurley sign extensions with the Rams this offseason, but there has apparently been little progress in his extension talks. 

He tallied 11 sacks and a career-best five forced fumbles in 2017 and was a primary reason the Rams reached the playoffs for the first time since the 2004 season. He has the chance to be a defensive building block for seasons to come at just 27 years old, but the two sides have to sort out the contract details first.


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