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Rams sign Aaron Donald to 6-year, $135M extension

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After weeks of increased optimism, increased dialogue and being in the same zip code, the Los Angeles Rams and defensive tackle Aaron Donald are finally in the same house.

The Rams signed Donald to a lucrative six-year contract extension worth $135 million with $87 million guaranteed, NFL Network Insider Ian Rapoport reported, via a source informed of the transaction. Donald will receive a $40 million signing bonus and is under contract for seven years at $141 million, Rapoport added.

The Rams later announced the extension.

Donald's contact establishes new ground as the richest deal for a defensive player in league history, a mark previously set by Denver Broncos outside linebacker Von Miller's six-year, $114.5 million deal in 2016.

The 27-year-old Donald was set to enter the final year of his contract, which paid a base salary of $6.89 million. He will now play on a deal worth more than $22 million per year, and he certainly earned every penny.

Since entering the league in 2014 out of Pittsburgh as a first-round pick, the 6-foot, 280-pound Donald has become one of the NFL's elite defensive players with 39 sacks, 108 quarterback hits and 72 tackles for a loss.

Donald, a three-time All-Pro and four-time Pro Bowler, also comes off a 2017 campaign where he totaled 41 tackles, 11 sacks and five forced fumbles to secure the NFL's Defensive Player of the Year award. He is one of four players in NFL history to make the Pro Bowl in each of his first four seasons.

With Donald officially on board, the Rams can now focus on the regular season and unleashing what projects as one of the NFL's most-talented defenses.

The Rams made numerous upgrades on defense during the offseason and will pair Donald with defensive tackle Ndamukong Suh, a three-time All-Pro selection. The Rams also bolstered the pass defense with the additions of cornerbacks Aqib Talib and Marcus Peters, who have combined for three All-Pro selections and seven Pro Bowl appearances.

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