Could the Los Angeles Rams do the unthinkable and trade star defensive lineman Aaron Donald?
Vincent Frank of SportsNaut seems to think so.
Even though they are just two years removed from a Super Bowl victory, the Rams have fallen on some hard times. Matthew Stafford appears to be a shell of his former self after being plagued by injuries for most of 2022, and Los Angeles gutted its roster this past offseason.
While LA did beat the Seattle Seahawks in Week 1 and actually put forth a decent showing in a Week 2 loss to the San Francisco 49ers, the Rams don’t seem to be legitimate contenders by any means.
As a result, there has been speculation that Los Angeles could ultimately move Donald, who has been a fixture along the club’s defensive front since entering the NFL as the 13th overall pick in 2014.
Frank names the Pittsburgh Steelers as a team that could potentially be interested in swinging a deal for the veteran. The Steelers finished 14th in the NFL with 40 sacks in 2022, so they could certainly use another pass rusher.
Perhaps Pittsburgh could entice the Rams with a 2024 first-round draft pick along with second and fourth-rounders? It’s certainly interesting, as Donald himself is a Pittsburgh native.
Even though he is just 32 years old, Donald has contemplated retirement over the last couple of years, although he felt he needed to at least come back for 2023 after such a miserable 2022 campaign.
Last season, Donald played in just 11 games due to an ankle injury, finishing with a modest 49 tackles and five sacks. The Rams went 5-12 and missed the playoffs.
It marked the first time Donald did not achieve double-digit sacks since 2015, when he registered eight sacks and earned a First-Team All-Pro selection.
Aaron Donald has made the Pro Bowl every season since joining the league and also logged seven consecutive First-Team All-Pro selections between 2015 and 2021. His best season came in 2018, when he racked up a league-best 20.5 sacks.