Our long national nightmare could soon be over. Raiders DE Khalil Mack and Rams DT Aaron Donald have both been stalling in signing their respective contract extensions, each waiting for the other to blink first. But now it appears that Donald will receive the quarterback-level money he’s been seeking, and his signing will reportedly be announced soon.
As reported last week would expect the Rams and Aaron Donald to agree to a new contract prior to their next preseason game. Big press conference back in LA. Continues to trend in that direction— Jason La Canfora (@JasonLaCanfora) August 13, 2018
And just in case you think La Canfora is full of baloney, there’s also this:
Source: #Rams and DE Aaron Donald are expected to come to an agreement on a massive deal that would pay Donald $24M per year with gurantees in the $65M - $70M range later this week. pic.twitter.com/1p4cyB4tFb— Downtown Rams (@DowntownRams) August 13, 2018
$24 million per year would blow away the contract of the current highest-paid defensive player, Von Miller at $17 million per year. We heard last week from Michael Lombardi that Khalil Mack was seeking $22 million a year, and this would make that a bargain as well. If Donald does sign a contract for that amount of money, it could push the framework of any potential Mack deal into the $25 million per year range, which is about what the Raiders are currently paying quarterback Derek Carr.
The NFL salary cap currently sits at $177.2 million, up from $167 million last year. That number should keep going up, but if the Raiders and Mack agree to a deal now, they will be paying he and Carr combined almost a full third of the salary cap. That’s a steep price to pay, even if Mack is the best defensive player in the NFL.
Mack’s agent has to be ecstatic that Donald is signing first, because it will make his client the highest-paid defensive player in the NFL. It’ll be a strain on the Raiders’ pocketbook, but the Raiders will be raking in that Las Vegas money soon, and they won’t let their star defensive end get away.
So things are finally in motion now, after being in limbo for months. If Donald actually does sign with the Rams, you can expect news on the Mack front shortly thereafter.