Rams planning on extensions for Aaron Donald, Alec Ogletree & LaMarcus Joyner

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It seems the Rams will be unable to come to terms with a long-term deal for their franchised cornerback Trumaine Johnson. That however, doesn’t mean they aren’t looking to unload some serious cash to extend their top player contracts. 

 

According to ESPN’s Alden Gonzalez, the Rams will not be extending Johnson, but will now turn their attention to DL Aaron Donald, ILB Alec Ogletree and FS LaMarcus Joyner. With this news, for the most part it’s not anything we didn’t already know besides Joyner. This marks the first time Joyner and the Rams have been in the news about an extension. As for Aaron Donald who is playing in what will be his last season under contract before the fifth-year option he has made it known he wants a long-term deal before the season. Ogletree on the other hand was picked a year before Donald and is playing his fifth-year option season in 2017. After this season Ogletree and Joyner will hit the open market if not re-signed so a re-up should be in order.

 

Donald is likely to get the first deal as he should be the number one priority being the best player on the team and all. Next, would likely be Ogletree who is an inside linebacker for the Rams and has assumed the role of “quarterbacking” the defense. Joyner would likely follow as the new coaching staff and mainly Head coach Sean McVay has made his opinions on Joyner and what he brings to the table known. The Rams only have a little over $39 million in cap space which would be fine if they didn’t have so many players to sign.  

 

According to Spotrac here is who will be free agents after the season for the Rams:

 

CB Trumaine Johnson UFA

ILB Alec Ogletree UFA 

OLB Connor Barwin UFA

CB E.J. Gaines UFA

DE Ethan Westbrooks UFA

DE Dominique Easley UFA

FS Cody Davis UFA

FS LaMarcus Joyner UFA 

RB Lance Dunbar UFA

C John Sullivan UFA 

LS Jake McQuaide UFA

CB Nickell Robey-Coleman UFA

OT Darrell Williams RFA

WR Bradley Marquez RFA

DE Matt Longacre RFA

DT Mike Purcell RFA

CB Troy Hill RFA 

DT Louis Trinca-Pasat ERFA 

RB Malcolm Brown RFA 

DT A.J. Jefferson ERFA 

WR Micah Hatfield ERFA 

G Alex Kozan ERFA 

OT Michael Dunn ERFA 

FB Zach Laskey ERFA 

 

The Rams will obviously have a hard bunch of decisions ahead. Ogletree could loom to be the most troublesome. Luke Kuechly is the best inside linebacker in football, but Ogletree could make more than Kuechly if he shows out in his contract season. The Rams, because of this, would be smart to come to terms on a deal before the season while the price is considered a bargain, because at 25 years old he is by far the most appealing inside backer on the market next year. Ogletree in my opinion will make around $10 million. Right off the bat if you sign Ogletree to $10 million, Donald would likely nab somewhere near $20 million.

 

Just off an estimate the Rams after those two contracts would have about nine million dollars left over to re-sign 23 players. You can see how this scenario leaves zero leg room for Johnson to re-up in Los Angeles. Now, Joyner would likely receive a contract like Tony Jefferson received in Baltimore for around $8.5 million annually. That leaves not even a million dollars left under the cap for the Rams. Obviously, they have plenty they can do to alleviate the pressure, which includes saving $11 million dollars after cutting Robert Quinn and a little over $6 million if Andrew Whitworth doesn’t pan out. 

 

One thing we know is it might be best to just enjoy this upcoming 2017 campaign, because the Rams could be hard pressed to keep core members of their team together after this season. With that being said, the Rams will be on track to possibly start looking at an extension for players like Maurice Alexander, Rob Havenstein, Jamon Brown, Kayvon Webster depending on how things look come 2018 and 2019. The bottom is if there was anytime General manager Les Snead had to step up to the plate and come through in the clutch it was this next three-year stretch. If Snead doesn’t ink any of these three before next year, there is a realistic chance he is no longer the gm in Los Angeles. 

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