The Los Angeles Rams had a successful run with their Super Bowl LVI victory, but with recent changes to the roster and a possible rebuild on the horizon, should they consider trading star defensive tackle Aaron Donald? Let’s examine the factors surrounding such a move.
Likelihood of a Rebuild:
The Rams have been making significant changes to their roster, cutting or trading veterans to clear cap space and acquire draft capital. While they hope to compete in 2023, it’s possible that their sights are set on 2024 or 2025.
Aaron Donald’s Timeline:
At 31 years old and having flirted with retirement a year ago, Donald’s timeline might not align with the Rams’ plans. With a no-trade clause in his contract, any potential trade would require Donald’s approval, but a team like the Lions might have a better chance at a deep playoff run in 2023.
The Lions’ Need for an Interior Pass-Rusher:
The Lions could greatly benefit from adding Aaron Donald to their roster, as they desperately need an interior pass rusher. They could learn from what the Rams did in 2021 and trade a first-rounder for the future Hall of Famer to add to their defense. With the uncertain future of young Defensive Tackle Levi Onwuzurike and their defense in need of improvement, the Lions could make a splash by acquiring Donald. Aidan Hutchinson and Aaron Donald would be a scary sight and this would also reunite Donald with some former teammates in Jared Goff and Josh Reynolds.
Rams Acquiring Draft Picks:
If the Rams were to trade Aaron Donald, they could potentially receive valuable draft picks in return. This would give them the opportunity to address their needs on both sides of the ball while creating more cap space for 2024 and 2025.
Dead Money and Restructuring Contracts:
Trading Aaron Donald would leave the Rams with $41 million in dead money. However, they could create additional cap space by restructuring contracts for players like Matthew Stafford and Cooper Kupp.