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Rams surely want to “pay the man”; the challenge is coming up with the right number/PFT

Discussion in 'RAMS - NFL TALK' started by den-the-coach, Jul 8, 2017.

  1. den-the-coach

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    Rams surely want to “pay the man”; the challenge is coming up with the right number

    Posted by Mike Florio on July 7, 2017, 2:29 PM EDT

    [profootballtalk.nbcsports.com]

    It’s easy for people like Rams defensive lineman Michael Brockers to tell his team to “pay the man” in reference to defensive tackle Aaron Donald. It’s much harder to determine the right dollars and structure of the deal.

    The problem arises in large part from the fact that the Donald has two years left on his rookie deal. Which means that the Rams would be assuming the injury risk from Donald for the next 32 regular-season games, plus any postseason games the Rams may play (stop laughing).

    It’s one thing for a team to assume the injury risk for a quarterback or a receiver or a cornerback. Linemen are constantly stuck in a scrum of bodies that may or may not result in a broken limb or worse on any given play. So the injury risk is much more real for guys like Donald than it is for players like Washington quarterback Kirk Cousins.

    Speaking of Cousins, Donald has a longer path to the year-to-year franchise tag approach that Cousins currently is pursuing, because Donald was picked in round one. He’ll need to play five full years before he’s eligible for the franchise tag for the first time. Then, the Rams could give him a 20-percent raise over the tag for a seventh year before facing the prospect of giving him quarterback money or a 44-percent raise, whichever is higher.

    That’s four more seasons before the Rams would have to pay market value to Donald, and at that point he’ll be 30.

    “Market value” possibly is the key term here. Donald may be looking at the Ndamukong Suh contract, worth $20 million per year, as reflecting the market value Donald wants to match or beat. But Suh got his money by hitting the market, thanks to a puffed-up franchise tag number (due to the pre-2011 rookie compensation system) that the Lions couldn’t/wouldn’t use. So Suh became a free agent and got true, literal market value.

    Donald is at least two years, probably three years, and maybe four years away from that same situation. Thus, the Rams will be reluctant to give Suh money to Donald, especially with two years left on his deal. To get the Rams to assume the injury risk now, Donald necessarily will have to take far less than what he could get if he were hitting the market or, at a minimum, embarking on the franchise-tag path.
     
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  2. CGI_Ram

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    And THAT summarizes the quandary.

    Donald is worth a massive deal, but with some lower cost seasons still available to the Rams... his yearly average will be below market value if he signs an extension now.

    It's just the way it works.

    If he wants market value, he'll need to gamble on himself and sign the extension after more of the cheaper seasons pass.

    And while it may appear a little unfair to Donald, keep in mind the pendulum swings both ways. Teams often overpay for players who do not perform to their draft status. See GRob.
     
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  3. OldSchool

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    Nah come on! Listening to some comments it sounds like the Rams don't want to pay AD :)
     
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  4. dieterbrock

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    Suh is not Donald. He never made the impact that Donald has.
    I find it insulting to compare the two.

    Tru, Goff, Tavon are all making 3-4x what Donald makes and he's the most indispensable player on the team.

    Pay him
     
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  5. LoyalRam

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    cheap bastids!
     
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  6. DCH

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    It would be foolish of them to let him walk, but it would also be foolish of them to pay him when they don't have to. He's under contract to the tune of $1.7 million in 2017 and $6.8 million in 2018. The Rams could easily franchise him - twice - to retain his services through 2020, and under the CBA there's nothing Donald could possibly do other than burn his career by sitting out.

    Could he sit out? Sure. But an NFL DT's career is limited, and sitting out would cost him money, playing time and reputation. Right now he's considered great on the field and a pretty damned fine individual. Nix that latter part and you've got people looking warily at you. Plus, keep in mind that if he sits out, the Rams don't pay him but still control him - worst-case scenario is, I believe, he's finally able to be a UFA at the age of 29 with likely very little career left ahead of him and no money earned in years.

    It's similar to the Malcolm Butler situation in NE - he wanted to be paid like he was a UFA, but he was an RFA. The Patriots considered trading him, but basically told him to shut up and play for his RFA $$. Leverage is all on the side of the team, and Donald's situation is similar.

    If Donald wants more money, he has three choices: one, take a new contract at less than what he would get on the open market, because he's not on the open market, duh; two, wait to hit the open market and the higher $$ it would bring; or three, pitch a fit and try to force the Rams to do something stupid like abdicate their next four years worth of reasonable control to put an ungodly amount of the salary cap towards him.

    This is salary cap football. Your team is built on the backs of underpaid guys on their rookie deals, and whether or not they "deserve" more money is irrelevant. You build your team to win within the constraints of the salary cap. Having an Aaron Donald at under $2 million (or Malcolm Butler at just under $4 million) allows you to fill out your roster with veterans and higher-paid guys.

    Is it fair to guys like Donald? Nope. But you don't build a winning football team by doing what's "fair" to one player, you build it by doing what allows you to field the best team. If players don't like the deck being stacked against them like it is, they should probably do better in the next CBA.
     
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  7. LACHAMP46

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    Assuming the risk....Never saw that term used to describe the front office.
    Mike F. must have a bunch of free time....he's writing a bunch. That "stop laughing" did make me LOL.....

    I still think a rookie starter in the 1st round is a bargain. I think you are overpaid on a rookie deal if you don't start or play...

    He doesn't have to play hard...he could be a locker room cancer...it'll kill this teams FO from attracting other FA's...or really rookies that would just rather go where they pay fair market value when you perform.

    You build trust in the players that you'll do the right thing if they perform above and beyond. You get disgruntled players when you play hard ball. Aaron Donald is not just some good player....He's on a HOF type run, and to encourage this type of performance...you do the guy a solid an look out for him...Motivate his teammates. You lowball him...look at JJ
    We have already set a precedent by signing/extending Quinn & Tavon with 2 years left.....poor form indeed to hang AD in the wind. This is how Sean Gilbert....Eric Dickerson....Jerome Bettis...great young talents...left the horns b4 their time.
     
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  8. DCH

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    If he doesn't play hard, he kills his ability to earn remotely close to what he could otherwise on the open market. There are few, if any, teams that pay "fair market value" to guys years before they have to - those controllable seasons are like gold, and if the player wants to get a new contract, they're going to have to find something valuable to exchange for the gold.

    Look how well that's turned out with the Quinn and Tavon contracts so far - this is why you generally don't buy out controlled years at UFA prices, and the Quinn deal at least was an early extension without "paying the man" earlier than they had to. If the Rams aren't willing to play hardball with their players, they'll continue to fail at putting the best possible team on the field.

    Football is bigger than one player, and "trust that you'll do the right thing," while nice, doesn't win games. Free agents go where the money + chance of winning is biggest. A touchy-feely "we're your buds, not your employers" front office is generally not a big selling point.

    The Rams have no incentive to pay market prices for a guy who won't hit the market for two to four years. IF they do it, they have to do it like they did with Quinn, which is to say an extension beyond the last two pre-Free Agency years, but with those two years still in place at low cap numbers. Give them the security that they'll be with the team and with good guaranteed $$, but don't give them a "imagine if I were a UFA right now" contract.
     
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  9. DaveFan'51

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    I don't agree with this^ statement! Every play someone is trying to get to the QB, Not so with a specific D-Lineman!!

    This^ may be the ' quandary', as CGI suggests, But there are exceptions to every rule, Donald is an Elite Player, his type comes along very seldom, Throw out the "Logical Accounting" theories, and get the man signed!!
     
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  10. DCH

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    Every play, someone is physically hitting a D-lineman. Even the most-hit QB, Andrew Luck, only actually takes about 95 hits per season.
     
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  11. Ram65

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    Very good overview of the situation. Donald could take a lower contract than top dollar and Rams can give him money closer to his value.

    You can't ignore the injury risk that the Rams don't have to take on with a new contract now. Take a look at the Rams with Robert Quinn. Quinn signed a 4 extension in 2014 after a monster 19 sack 2013. He followed that up with 10 sacks in 2014. The next two seasons he has only played around half the games at much less than 100 percent totally 9 sacks for those two years. He got paid about 28 Million for those two seasons. Donald has not been as dominate as Quinn was in 2013.

    There are public relations involved on both sides. The Rams are trying to build a new winning culture and fan base back in LA. Messing around with the franchise's defense star could be a PR nightmare. Donald has to show he is part of the new winning culture and the we not me philosophy while continuing to be productive on the field. If the Rams take on the injury risk early Donald has to take on a lesser amount of compensation. Rams shouldn't just pay the man.
     
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  12. DaveFan'51

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    BUT! What is the severity of the hits The D-Lineman are taking compared the out-right pounding the QB gets!?!;)
     
  13. LACHAMP46

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    While Quinn's injury history is unfortunate....Tavon didn't deserve to be paid what he makes...so different circumstances. In fact, many of us in here expect Quinn to return to 2014 levels...not quite 2013, but disruptive...much like a small portion of last year...Think he helped win a couple of games...Strip sacks...
    This is what Brockers is saying:
    Michael Brockers' advice to Rams: Pay Aaron Donald

    By Max Meyer

    http://www.nfl.com/news/story/0ap30...hael-brockers-advice-to-rams-pay-aaron-donald

    The past few seasons for the Rams have been a roller coaster to say the least, but on the bright side, they have one of the game's best players in Aaron Donald.

    The All-Pro defensive tackle is tied to his rookie deal through the 2018 season after Los Angeles picked up his fifth-year option. Per Spotrac, Donald is slated to make a mere $3.2 million this upcoming campaign in salary and bonuses.

    Rams general manager Les Snead said in May that negotiations on an extension were "serious" between the team and the 26-year-old quarterback nightmare. Yet, Donald still finds himself in July hoping for a lucrative new deal rather than already putting pen to paper on one.

    While Donald did attend the team's mandatory minicamp, Rams defensive end Michael Brockers said the players would back their star teammate if he were to hold out when training camp rolls around.

    "At the end of the day, that's our brother," Brockers said Thursday on SiriusXM NFL Radio. "We'll go to war with him and for him. We respect any decision. He deserves it. You look at the record, being the most dominant defensive tackle in the league, and he's just making all these phenomenal numbers and stuff like that. And, obviously, pay the man. Obviously. He's put in him some major work for this team and I think he deserves it."

    Donald has accumulated 28 sacks over his first three NFL campaigns, and secured the No. 15 spot on NFL Network's The Top 100 Players of 2017. His hunger to continue to improve his craft, however, is what should terrorize opposing offenses even more.

    "I don't think people understand how much of a critic he is of himself," Brockers said. "He watches so much film of himself, and you hear the greatest players that ever played this game talk about how they watch film more of themselves than they do the opponent and stuff like that. Definitely watching himself, critiquing himself, and wanting to be better at all times in whatever he does.

    "I just see these little things that he does every day to make himself a better player and a better pro.
    I just respect every little aspect of his game."
     
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  14. dieterbrock

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    That is out the window once the Rams opened negotiations with him
    They cant talk new contract, then defer to that. That is total disrespect.
    If it comes to the Rams holding to his present contract, then its time to trade him. Because a hold out will happen. You cant go to the table and then walk away.
    The Rams are paying Tru and Austin like HOF all stars when they are average players. Cant draw the line at the feet of the best player at his position. Take that stance with someone else
     
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  15. DCH

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    Why not? If you open negotiations, but the negotiation partner has ridiculous demands, eventually you should be willing to say "freak it, play for your current contract, we're making no progress, let's talk after the season." It's not disrespect, it's negotiating.
    Yes you can if you feel the other side's demands are untenable and you have the bulk of the financial leverage. Holding out hurts him more than it hurts the Rams.
    You don't determine what you pay a guy based on what you've paid other players at different positions. If, as this article seems to imply, he's angling for a $20 million/year contract, that's absurd... you use your leverage - the two years of contractual control and possibly the two years of franchise tagging - and if he's willing to not get paid anything and make himself less marketable going forward, then so be it.
     
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  16. DCH

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  17. DCH

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    If - hypothetically - Donald sits out for 2017 because he wants a new contract two years before he's even eligible for free agency, who suffers more?

    Rams - play Dominique Easley or Louis Trinca-Pasat at DT/DE, get less production, still have a starting player at the position even though he's not Aaron Donald.

    Donald - gets paid nothing, develops a reputation as a me-first player who is about the money that will follow him when he hits free agency, and gets red flags about whether or not he'll be able to perform after an extended absence from football.

    It's not an ideal situation for the Rams, but this is labor negotiation in a world where labor is replaceable. THIS is why the Rams would be foolish to "just pay the man."
     
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  18. dieterbrock

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    No, its disrespect. Just because its negotiating doesn't mean one or the other.
    Its how players get turned away from organizations.
    They are over paying Brockers, Quinn, Tavon, Tru etc but are drawing the line here? Yup. Disrespect
    Says who?
    The rest of the NFL says, well if you aren't going to pay him, we will. Trade him to us
     
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  19. DCH

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    Stopping a negotiation when you can't come to an agreement is not disrespect.

    Players who hold out entire years over contracts are, rightly or not, viewed as selfish. Coaches want players who put the team before themselves. He'd get paid, sure, but not as much as he could otherwise.
     
  20. dieterbrock

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    Of course it is. The Rams have come to the table and agreed he deserves a new contract. They are agreeing he is underpaid. To hold the contract now as leverage and say he's only worth that is disrespectful.

    I don't agree. I see many examples of players holding out where the team was looked at unfavorably. And the NFL will line up to take Donald off the Rams hands.
     
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