What we know about the Rams’ deal to sign Aaron Donald
The Rams will receive the No. 1 overall pick in the draft from the Los Angeles Rams in exchange for Aaron Donald.
That’s the league’s first major trade in two years, according to ESPN.
The Rams’ current franchise tag expires on March 12.
They will then get a 2019 first-round pick, plus future first- and second-round picks, and the No 1 overall selection in 2019 and 2020.
“I think we’re getting a steal for the first time in a long time,” Rams head coach Jeff Fisher said after the deal was announced.
“The players will be excited.
We’ll get a big piece of what the Rams need.”
The Rams have already been active in free agency and could potentially add a big name if the players and owners sign a new collective bargaining agreement, which they could do at the end of this month.
“We’ll be working with the players as much as we can to build a winning franchise,” Rams owner Stan Kroenke said in a statement.
“It’s exciting to be a part of it.”
The team has been in free fall in recent years, finishing the 2016 season with a 1-11 record and finishing with the worst record in the NFL.
The organization was dealt a blow in the 2016 draft when the Rams passed on a potential top-10 pick, with the New Orleans Saints choosing Clemson wide receiver Sammy Watkins instead.
The next year, Rams owner Dan Reeves signed a new four-year deal, bringing in $50 million in cap space, and brought in two first-year free agents.
Rams fans may have been disappointed when they didn’t land a superstar wide receiver in the first round of the draft, but Donald will bring a much-needed speed boost to the Rams offense.
He’ll be competing for snaps with Tavon Austin, who will play in a three-wide receiver offense, and rookie quarterback Jared Goff.
“Aaron Donald brings a different dimension to our offense that we really haven’t had in a while,” Rams coach Jeff Lurie said in March.
“He can play any receiver position, but he’s going to have the speed and athleticism to be able to make plays on the perimeter.”
Donald’s speed has been on display during the Rams last two games.
He scored his first touchdown of the season in Week 17 against the New York Jets and ran for a score in Week 16 against the Philadelphia Eagles.
Donald’s best game of the year came in Week 10, when he had a career-high 14 catches for 146 yards and two touchdowns.
He has averaged 12.5 yards per catch and scored four touchdowns in seven games this season.
“If you look at the numbers, he’s been really, really productive,” Rams receiver Mike Evans said after his third reception of the week in Week 12.
“Just his route running and how he catches the ball, and I think he’s had some really nice plays.
He’s been pretty dynamic.”
The other players that the Rams will be targeting in free agent deals are linebacker Anthony Barr, safety Alec Ogletree and cornerback Josh Norman.
Barr has been the Rams most consistent player during his seven-year career.
Barr had just one interception in his first seven games with the Rams.
Ogletrees three interceptions in his career has helped him earn a starting spot in the Rams defensive backfield.
Barr also has three sacks in his NFL career.
Norman had four interceptions and five passes defensed in his rookie season.
Barr’s career totals are 22 interceptions and 32 passes deflected in three seasons.
“Everyone knows we have a big need at the linebacker spot and that’s the position we’re going to go after, so we’re not going to do anything crazy to take a player off the board,” Rams general manager Les Snead said.
“What we want is someone who’s going be able and willing to compete for a starting role, and somebody that can help us win.”