The All-Pro defensive tackle’s teammates would like to see this standoff resolved before it has any chance to impact their promising season.
”Hey man Levine Toilolo Jersey , pay the man,” cornerback Marcus Peters said. ”You win the MVP? Come on now.”
The NFL’s Defensive Player of the Year was back home in Pittsburgh while the Rams began voluntary organized team activities at their training complex Monday. He also skipped the start of their offseason program in April.
He is missing the first steps in the assembly of a potentially impressive defense. Peters joined the Rams in the offseason along with fellow star cornerback Aqib Talib and defensive lineman Ndamukong Suh – but they haven’t yet teamed up with Donald, who turns 27 on Wednesday.
”Aaron is a vet, man,” Talib said. ”He’s going to take care of his own business. What’s his business is his business.”
Donald is due to make $6.89 million this season in the final year of his rookie contract, and the Rams theoretically could keep him for three additional years under a franchise tag. But he has been one of the NFL’s top defensive linemen since his career began in 2014, and the Rams’ front office has claimed it is eager to sign Donald to a long-term contract.
”It’s kind of where it’s been,” coach Sean McVay said of the Rams’ negotiation with Donald. ”We’re in constant dialogue and communication with his representation. It is something that we want to get resolved. As far as a timetable, don’t really have any dates on that. I don’t expect Aaron to be here until we get a resolution to that.”
These negotiations still appear to be civil and respectful, despite their abnormal length. Donald has expressed little public frustration with the Rams’ reticence to write the check he is seeking Brandon Linder Jersey , while McVay and general manager Les Snead have scrupulously avoided any public criticism of the tactics that have kept Donald away from his teammates.
”He and I have had good dialogue,” McVay said. ”I spoke with him last week. This feels a lot different than last year. Certainly anytime that you have something where the team comes together, to have a player that’s as important as he is here, you would prefer that. But it is voluntary. We understand that, and we have a lot of respect and understanding for what’s going on.”
Donald also skipped most of last year’s offseason activities in his lengthy quest for a contract befitting his talent and accomplishments. That holdout lasted through training camp and the entire preseason while he attempted to land a new contract likely to make him the highest-paid defensive player in the NFL.
He missed the Rams’ season opener after reporting to the team one day before the game. Donald still was named the NFL’s top defensive player despite appearing in only 14 games while Los Angeles roared to the NFC West title and the franchise’s first postseason appearance in 13 years.
Donald matched his career high with 11 sacks last year while causing continual havoc to opponents’ offensive lines and running games.
Although Donald clearly doesn’t need the offseason program to thrive, particularly heading into his second season in coordinator Wade Phillips’ scheme, he’s missing out on the chance to bond with his teammates while working out his dynamic with Suh. The duo could be one of the NFL’s most intimidating combinations this fall after Suh chose the Rams from among several suitors for his free-agent services.
The Rams’ new defensive players finished their first day with new respect for McVay’s offense, which took Los Angeles from worst to first in the NFL in scoring last year.
”We got an introduction to that McVay offense, and it’s crazy,” Talib said. ”There’s a bunch of movement Greg Mancz Jersey , a bunch of speed on it. You’ve got to have your eyes in the right place.”
The Rams’ mandatory minicamp doesn’t begin until June 12, following three weeks of voluntary workouts.
WASHINGTON — The next few days will determine whether a players-only meeting and a visit from the Miami Marlins will help lift the Washington Nationals out of their funk.
Washington welcomes Miami to Nationals Park for a four-game series beginning Thursday night.
The Nationals have lost five straight games and 17 of 22. At 42-43, the Nationals are under .500 this far into the season for the first time since they were 60-61 on Aug. 21, 2015.
Wednesday’s traditional 11:05 a.m. July 4 contest was a 3-0 loss to the Boston Red Sox. Washington’s eighth shutout since June 1 — the Nationals were blanked just seven times all of last season — resulted in a players-only meeting after the game.
“We’ve never been in this position before, and I think it’s an exciting time for us,” Nationals outfielder Bryce Harper told the Washington Post. “In years past, we’ve won the division by a lot of games and we’re able to be behind right now. I’m excited to get out there and test it.”
According to press reports, staff ace Max Scherzer instigated the meeting and was the most vocal speaker during it.
“I think anytime Max holds the meeting or holds court, there’s going to be some yelling,” outfielder Adam Eaton told MASN.com. “In baseball Pernell McPhee Jersey , you don’t have that type of intensity all the time, so it’s a little different. I think guys gravitate toward that. I think everybody has a kind of intensity bone in their body, and sometimes things need to be said in that fashion.”
Rafael Devers (sacrifice fly) and Eduardo Nunez (wild pitch) helped break a scoreless tie in the seventh inning, and Eduardo Rodriguez pitched six shutout innings Wednesday for the Red Sox.
Washington starter Erick Fedde left in the second inning with a shoulder injury, forcing the Nationals’ already overworked bullpen to cover seven-plus innings. An MRI exam on Fedde was negative.
The Nationals are seven games behind first-place Atlanta and just 7 1/2 ahead of fourth-place Miami. After a stretch of games against the Philadelphia Phillies and Red Sox, the Nationals play 21 of their next 27 games against teams with a losing record.
Right-hander Jeremy Hellickson (2-1, 2.63 ERA) opposes Miami right-hander Pablo Lopez (1-0, 3.00) on Thursday night
Hellickson lasted 4 2/3 innings, giving up three earned runs on seven hits, in his return from the disabled list last Saturday night. He had been sidelined since June 4 with a right hamstring strain.
Lopez was a winner in his major league debut DJ Moore Jersey , allowing two runs on six hits over six innings against the New York Mets on Saturday. The 22-year-old struck out five and walked one.
“I was really impressed with his composure,” Marlins catcher J.T. Realmuto told the Miami Herald. “He came in just attacking guys with his stuff. It didn’t seem like he was scared of anybody. Pounding the zone. Worked a quick pace, and pitched with great stuff. It was exciting to watch.”
Miami (36-52) won the rubber game of a three-game series with the Tampa Bay Rays on Wednesday, hours after losing a 16-inning marathon that ended at 12:41 a.m. Jose Urena tossed five scoreless innings and shortstop JT Riddle drove in two of Miami’s runs and scored the other in a 3-0 win.
Drew Rucinski got the win and Brad Ziegler closed it out for his 10th save.
“It was one of those days, walking into it, that your bullpen’s pretty much shot,” Marlins manager Don Mattingly told the Miami Herald. “You’re hoping for a good outing from Jose and it really couldn’t have gone any better as far as who we had available.”
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