Aaron Donald Trade Rumors: Lions Asked for Rams DT in Matthew Stafford Deal

Adam Wells@adamwells1985Featured ColumnistFebruary 7, 2021

El defensive tackle de los Rams de Los Ángeles Aaron Donald sonríe durante la segunda mitad del juego de la ronda de comodines de la NFL ante los Seahawks de Seattle, el sábado 9 de enero de 2021, en Seattle. (AP Foto/Scott Eklund)
Scott Eklund/Associated Press

Before the Detroit Lions settled for Jared Goff and three draft picks in their agreed-upon trade for Matthew Stafford, they reportedly tried to get Aaron Donald included in the deal. 

Per ESPN's Adam Schefter, Donald was the first player the Lions asked for when they began talking with the Rams about Stafford. 

Schefter noted the Rams told Detroit a deal involving Donald is "not happening."

Schefter reported Jan. 30 that the Rams and Lions agreed to a deal that will send Stafford to Los Angeles in exchange for Goff, first-round draft picks in 2022 and 2023 and a third-round draft pick in 2021. 

Even though there seemed to be no chance the Rams would agree to trade Donald, it's not unusual for teams to shoot for the moon early in talks hoping to catch a desperate front office into making a move. 

At this time last year, no one was predicting that the Arizona Cardinals would be able to acquire DeAndre Hopkins from the Houston Texans for David Johnson, a 2020 second-round draft pick and a 2021 fourth-round draft pick. 

It's no secret that the Rams are facing a salary-cap crunch because of all the moves they've made over the past two seasons. Donald carries a $27.89 million cap hit in 2021, per Spotrac.

Donald, who was named NFL Defensive Player of the Year for the third time in four years Saturday night, is arguably the best non-quarterback in the league. The 29-year-old has been named to the All-Pro first team in each of the past six seasons. 

Given how productive Donald has been throughout his career—with no apparent signs of slowing down—and the Rams trying to take advantage of their playoff window right now, there was no reason for the team to move him at this point. 

Still, you can't blame the Lions for at least asking.