The Los Angeles Rams and Aaron Donald finalized terms on a contract extension that will make the star tackle the highest-paid defensive player in history, the team announced Friday.
Financial terms of the contract were not released by the team but according to multiple media outlets, Donald will earn $135 million on the six-year extension. The deal features a staggering $87 million guaranteed, including a $40 million signing bonus.
The average annual salary of just more than $22 million enables Donald to eclipse Denver Broncos linebacker Von Miller as the NFL’s top-paid defender. Miller earns $19 million per year and received $70 million in guaranteed money.
The 2017 NFL Defensive Player of the Year, Donald is now tied to the reigning NFC West champion Rams through the 2024 season. Donald’s salary for the upcoming season is $6.892 million as part of the fifth year on his rookie contract.
Donald has yet to report to training camp and skipped all of the team’s voluntary and mandatory offseason workouts while he was waiting for the team to negotiate a long-term extension.
The 27-year-old Donald also missed the entire preseason a year ago, but he still registered a career high-tying 11.0 sacks and amassed a league-high 91 quarterback pressures despite sitting out two games.
The former University of Pittsburgh standout was selected first-team All-Pro for the third straight year and to the Pro Bowl for the fourth year in a row.
The 6-foot-1, 280-pound Donald, the No. 13 overall pick in the 2014 NFL Draft, was named the league’s NFL Defensive Rookie of the Year after collecting 9.0 sacks in his first season.
Donald has 148 solo tackles and 39 sacks since entering the league in 2014. He is one of four players with at least 8.0 sacks in each of the past four seasons and has an NFL-best 88 tackles for loss in that span.
Los Angeles opens the season against the Oakland Raiders on Sept. 10.