The Los Angeles Rams signed Brandin Cooks to a five-year contract extension last week, and on Tuesday, they made some more waves. The team agreed to terms on a four-year contract extension that reports have worth up to $60 million, with $45 million in guarantees. Full details will take some time to come out, and at that point we’ll learn how much of the $45 million is actually fully guaranteed.
That being said, I have to think defensive tackle Aaron Donald is thinking, what gives? He has been looking for a new contract for some time now, and this is two big extensions given out within the span of a week. Any Donald extension would be considerably more than these, so this is not exactly a surprise. But the optics of it are not ideal.
The Gurley extension is a bit of a surprise. He was entering the fourth year of his rookie deal, and the Rams had control of him in 2019 on the fifth year option. Of course, with Le’Veon Bell expected to hit free agency next year and in line for a sizable contract of his own, maybe the Rams wanted to get ahead of it. They still are paying a heck of a premium, but that’s their business I suppose.
The team does not seem in too much of a rush with Donald. He is playing this year on his fifth year option, and the team could use the franchise tag the next two years. That would give them control over his rights through the 2020 season. Considering he’s already 27 years old, I can’t imagine he is thrilled by that prospect.
The Rams are near the bottom of the league in cap space this year, but it’s worth noting that prior to this deal and the Brandin Cooks extension, they had the third most cap space available in 2019. Goff has a manageable cap figure through 2019 thanks to his rookie contract. They then can use the fifth year option in 2020, and back-to-back franchise tags in 2021 and 2022 if they have not agreed to a deal by then. All this is to say, cap space is not a huge concern for the team at the moment. That could change, but they could still get a Donald deal done if they were so inclined.