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Rams exercise fifth-year option on Aaron Donald

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A slew of no-brainer moves will barrel down the pike in the next three weeks as NFL teams must exercise the fifth-year options on 2014 first-round draft picks prior to May 3.

On Wednesday, the Los Angeles Rams exercised the extra year for All-Pro defensive tackle Aaron Donald, NFL Network Insider Ian Rapoport reported.

The options are guaranteed for injury only.

The No. 13 overall pick in 2014, Donald's 2018 salary would be for $6.892 million after earning just $1.8 million in 2017. Those numbers could easily be replaced before the calendar flips.

Rams general manager Les Snead said during the NFL Scouting Combine that the three-time Pro Bowler and two-time All-Pro "deserves a raise." L.A. will smartly prioritize locking down its game-wrecking defensive tackle, who should set the market at the position and might push Von Miller as the highest-paid defensive player in the NFL. The 25-year-old star has compiled 28 sacks through three seasons.

Donald is one of several obvious 2014 draft picks who will be hit with a fifth-year option over the coming weeks. Jadeveon Clowney, Khalil Mack, Sammy Watkins, Mike Evans, Odell Beckham Jr., C.J. Mosley and a boatload of others will see the additional year of their rookie contracts picked up.

The Panthers already said they plan to exercise Kelvin Benjamin's option. The Cowboys also indicated they'd do likewise with Zack Martin.

One player who likely won't see his fifth-year option exercised: Donald's first-round counterpart with the Rams, Greg Robinson. It's curious that the Donald news would come out without Robinson if the team planned to exercise the extra year for the disappointing No. 2 overall pick, who recently got bumped to guard by the signing of 35-year-old veteran Andrew Whitworth.

The quarterback class also comes with two question marks. Will the Vikings pick up Teddy Bridgewater's option as he rehabs from a horrific injury that could wipe out a second year? Will the Jacksonville Jaguars finally pull the trigger on an extra year of the Blake Bortles experience or roll the dice and give the enigmatic signal-caller something to play for in 2017?

Those decisions and more, coming soon.

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