One of the most talented defensive players in the entire NFL today is Aaron Donald, but the Los Angeles Rams could be without him if they're not careful, according to reports.
Donald is in the final year of his rookie contract with the Rams and is set to become a free agent in 2019 if he doesn't sign a new deal with the franchise.
Despite being one of the best defenders in the league, Los Angeles has happily handed out contract extensions to other players on their roster, but not him.
For now, it looks like the two sides have been unable to reach an agreement, and now Donald is putting his foot down to make sure a resolution is met.
According to Adam Schefter of ESPN, the defensive end will not only be missing training camp until he gets a new deal, but he will also not play another down on his current contract.
Sitting out the regular season
That means, if push comes to shove by the end of training camp and Donald doesn't have a new deal, he could start to miss games of the Rams 2018 NFL season.
This would be a huge blow to arguably one of the best defenses in the league, and they're certainly not the same without the 27-year-old on the field.
The Rams have paid wide receiver Brandon Cooks and running back Todd Gurley in the past week, but Donald still sits without a contract.
Ian Rapport of the NFL Network has noted as well that if the defensive end doesn’t report to the Rams before August 7, he would become a restricted free agent next summer, instead of an unrestricted one.
Donald is set to make $6,892,000 in 2018 after pulling in $10,136,500 during the first four years of his rookie-scale deal. This wouldn't be the first time he has missed games though due to contract disputes.
The defensive end missed the first two games of the year before returning after he held out for a contract extension last summer, but he did not receive one.
The Rams' aspirations of reaching their first Super Bowl since Super Bowl XXXVI would take a huge blow if Donald starts to miss regular season games for the franchise, as he's one of the best defensive players in the NFL.
The 27-year-old has made the Pro Bowl in every season of his career since being drafted in 2013 and has also been named a first-team All-Pro in each of the last three seasons.
He's recorded 204 tackles and 39 sacks across four seasons, as well as forcing nine fumbles, recovering two more, and deflecting nine passes.