General manager Les Snead told reporters on April 5 that the team has Donald "budgeted in the budget."
During a media session on April 16, coach Sean McVay complimented what he categorized as "really good dialogue" with Donald, who enters the final year of his rookie contract on a fifth-year option.
Less than a month later, the Rams head coach once again highlighted the open lines of communication as a reason for hope that both sides will eventually come to an agreement.
"He's responding more than he was at this time last year, so that's what I feel good about," McVay said Tuesday.
The 6-foot, 280-pound Donald comes off a 2017 season where he totaled 41 tackles (32 solo), 11 sacks, five forced fumbles and a pass defensed en route to being named the NFL's Defensive Player of the Year.
Since entering the league as a 2014 first-round pick (13th overall) out of Pittsburgh, Donald has established himself as one of the league's elite defensive linemen, totaling 205 tackles (148 solo), 57 sacks, nine forced fumbles and eight passes defensed in four seasons.
Given his production and what he means to one of the league's top defensive units, the Rams would be wise to lock up Donald sooner than later or risk letting him reach free agency in 2019.