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Rams exec: Talks with Aaron Donald have been 'great'

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Around the globe, next-level Madden enthusiasts have previewed an on-screen Rams defense for 2018 that stars wild behemoth Ndamukong Suh paired with game-plan destroyer Aaron Donald.

In our world, Donald's participation has hit a snag.

Nestled in the final year of his rookie deal, the All-Pro defensive tackle bypassed both organized team activities and mandatory minicamp. We all know why: He's after a meaty raise on the $6.892 million salary scheduled to light up his direct-deposit in 2018.

At a Los Angeles-based event flaunting the team's new stadium, Rams COO and VP Kevin Demoff weighed in Tuesday on Donald's status a month out from training camp.

"I think when you build stadiums like this, it's with players like Aaron Donald in mind," Demoff told NFL Network's Steve Wyche. "And we've been at this process, working with them for the past year and a half to try to make sure that Aaron is not only here for the opening of the stadium but plays well into his years. And that he can play in the 2022 Super Bowl in his own home stadium."

Demoff added: "So we're working on it and we'll keep pushing forward. The dialogue's been great. It's been positive. I think [Donald] and coach [Sean] McVay have a terrific relationship. We look forward to getting this done. And putting Aaron in the place where he should be among the highest-paid defensive players."

Asked if negotiations would net results before training camp -- preventing additional, breathless, inch-by-inch updates on NFL.com -- Demoff refused to cave in, echoing Wyche's reporting this month that "nobody could say for certain" if a deal was imminent.

"Well, it will be done before the stadium's done," Demoff joked. "Nah, we're going to keep wishing and hoping. I hope it's done sooner than training camp, but if it goes to training camp, our goal is to make sure it's done and that he feels rewarded and that it's a win-win deal for both sides."

It's clear the Rams value their immensely talented defensive destroyer. The team spent loads of money and picks on newly minted teammates who make this Rams unit a Super Bowl-worthy entry.

It all comes back to Donald, though, a talent who surpasses today's version of Suh or anyone else on the roster. The Rams understand that -- and hope to end this elongated dog-and-pony show before camp.

Easier said than done.

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