McVay: Donald's holdout unlikely to end soon
Aaron Donald‘s holdout continues.
The Los Angeles Rams defensive tackle will not join the team by the NFL’s Tuesday deadline for players to report to earn an accrued season for free agency, nor will he be with the team anytime soon, sources told ESPN’s Adam Schefter.
Rams coach Sean McVay echoed a similar sentiment when he spoke with reporters Monday after a joint practice with the Baltimore Ravens in Owings Mills, Maryland.
“I don’t think anything is going to change with that in the near future,” McVay said when asked about Donald’s status. “I’ve had a little bit of dialogue with Aaron and we’re hopeful that we’ll get something done, but I don’t think there’s any realistic deal to August 7th being a date that changes really anything, but you never know.
“Things remain the same. I’m looking forward to trying to connect with him later on today, and we’ll see where we’re at.”
Rams teammates have expressed support for Donald, the reigning NFL Defensive Player of the Year, but defensive lineman Michael Brockers said Monday he has had no contact with Donald.
“You kind of leave him alone when he’s in the offseason,” Brockers said. “I know he’s working, I know he’s grinding. No real contact. I know he’s getting the work done, doing everything possible where he’s in shape when he comes here. That’s all I can look forward to. Whenever he gets here, he’s ready to roll.”
Donald is scheduled to earn $6.9 million in the final season of his rookie contract but is thought to be seeking a deal that would pay him in excess of $20 million per season, which would make him the highest-paid defensive player in NFL history and would rank his salary among quarterbacks.
Selected with the No. 13 overall pick in 2014, Donald sat out of training camp last season, then reported on the eve of the season opener without a new contract in place. Because of that holdout, he did not earn an accrued season toward unrestricted free agency. Now in his second consecutive holdout, Donald will not accrue the required four seasons to become an unrestricted free agent after the season and will remain a restricted free agent.
The Rams play the Ravens in a preseason game Thursday and will open the regular season on Sept. 10 against the Oakland Raiders.