Defensive tackle Aaron Donald and the Los Angeles Rams have reached agreement on a six-year, $135 million contract extension, according to multiple reports on Friday.
Donald, 27, reportedly will receive a $40 million signing bonus and $87 million in guaranteed money.
The deal makes Donald the highest-paid defensive player in history at an annual average just over $22 million. Denver linebacker Von Miller previously led all NFL defenders at $19 million annually.
The Rams created about $7 million of 2018 cap space on Thursday by restructuring the contracts of left tackle Andrew Whitworth and wide receiver Robert Woods, bringing their total cap space to $10.1 million, per Spotrac.
Head coach Sean McVay had said Wednesday during the team’s charity kickoff luncheon that the sides were very close.
The Rams open their season on Sept. 10 against the Oakland Raiders.
Donald, the reigning Defensive Player of the Year, earned just over $10.1 million from 2014-17, combined, and is due $6.9 million this season, the fifth-year option of his rookie deal. The 27-year-old has made the Pro Bowl in each of his four seasons and has three first-team All-Pro nods.
The Rams have been able to reach deals with other core players recently, extending both wideout Brandin Cooks and running back Todd Gurley in a span of a week before training camp opened. They consistently had been vocal about their plan to re-sign Donald.
–Field Level Media