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Aaron Donald holdout could keep him out of Rams-49ers in Week 3

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Things getting interesting in SoCal!

The Los Angeles Rams have a lot of holes in their roster to figure out, and they could be facing another one when the regular season starts. Defensive tackle Aaron Donald has not yet reported to training camp, and Adam Schefter is reporting the holdout could last into the regular season. Here’s Schefter’s full report:

Rams DT Aaron Donald's holdout is threatening to last into the regular season, per league sources. One source speculated that he could envision Donald sitting out 2017, though a lot can change in any negotiation in a hurry. But the fact that such strong thoughts exist now provides a snapshot into where the two sides are today: not particularly close to a deal. The two sides will stay in touch, but today there is pessimism about how long Donald's holdout could last.

Holdouts can end pretty quickly if things come together, but this is not going to be an easy situation. Donald is entering the fourth season of his rookie deal. As a first round pick, the Rams also hold a fifth year option in 2018 they exercised earlier this spring. They could then use the franchise tag in 2019, and maybe even 2020.

If Donald does hold out into the season, it is unlikely he holds out the full season. If he did that, his contract would toll and he’d be right back where he started, entering the “fourth” year of his contract. If he does hold out into the season and returns by I believe Week 10 or 11, he accrues his season, and then he likely threatens a 2018 holdout on his fifth year option.

I think we eventually see a deal done, but it’s a game of chicken for now. The San Francisco 49ers face the Rams in Week 3, and at the current rate, Donald might be sitting out. A few poor games by the Rams defensive front could get the front office in gear, but we’ll have to wait and see how far either side is willing to take this.