The Los Angeles Rams and defensive tackle Aaron Donald have agreed to a six-year deal, the team announced.
The deal is worth $135 million, including $87 million guaranteed, a source told ESPN’s Adam Schefter.
It’s the richest defensive deal in NFL history and could keep Donald with the Rams for the next seven years, through the 2024 season.
Donald, who has held out of training camp this season, will be ready for the team’s Monday night opener against the Oakland Raiders on Sept. 10, according to Schefter.
A first-round pick in 2014, Donald was entering the final year of his rookie contract and scheduled to earn $6.9 million this season.
Donald, a three-time All-Pro, four-time Pro Bowl selection and 2014 Defensive Rookie of the Year, has 39 career sacks and nine forced fumbles.
His contract resolution ensures that the Rams will open the season with their highly regarded defensive line intact. The Rams signed All-Pro Ndamukong Suh in free agency and return seventh-year pro Michael Brockers.
Donald’s extension has been a work in progress dating to 2017, as he held out for a contract that would make him the highest-paid defensive player, if not among the highest-paid players in the league.
Negotiations began after the Rams’ 4-12 2016 season, in which Donald — then a third-year pro — finished with 8 sacks, 5 deflected passes and 2 forced fumbles. Donald did not attend the voluntary offseason program but reported to mandatory minicamp to avoid fines. He then held out of training camp and reported to the team’s practice facility on the eve of the 2017 season opener, without a new contract in place. He was activated in Week 2.
Donald’s absence through training camp hardly affected his play, as he went on to finish his fourth season with 11 sacks and five forced fumbles in 14 games and was named the NFL Defensive Player of the Year as the Rams clinched the NFC West and made their first playoff appearance since 2004.
Donald then resumed his holdout pattern as the Rams entered the offseason. He did not attend organized team activities and did not report to mandatory minicamp.