Will Aaron Donald and Cooper Kupp extend their contracts with the Los Angeles Rams?

Los Angeles Rams head coach Sean McVay watches play against the Cincinnati Bengals during the first half of the NFL Super Bowl 56 football game Sunday, Feb. 13, 2022, in Inglewood, Calif. (AP Photo/Mark J. Terrill)

The reigning Super Bowl champions, the Los Angeles Rams, did not have much time to celebrate and have been quick to get down to work this offseason as the task is to maintain the core of players that helped them achieve this title.

The organization’s top two priorities are the contracts of defensive tackle Aaron Donald and wide receiver Cooper Kupp. Regarding Donald, Los Angeles Rams general manager Les Snead commented last March that they were working on a win-win solution for both parties and that this will continue even during the team’s offseason practices.

This news got an update during the day on Tuesday, as Los Angeles Rams head coach Sean McVay was asked about the status of negotiations with Aaron Donald, to which the 36-year-old coach mentioned that “there has been good dialogue” with the player regarding that new contract.

Los Angeles Rams head coach Sean McVay, left, celebrates with wide receiver Cooper Kupp (10) after defeating the Cincinnati Bengals in the NFL Super Bowl 56 football game Sunday, Feb. 13, 2022, in Inglewood, Calif. (AP Photo/Lynne Sladky)

Sean McVay maintained the same tone when speaking regarding Cooper Kupp, saying that negotiations are on track.

These are things that are still at the forefront of our minds.

Sean McVay to Stu Jackson, member of the team’s official web site

Is Aaron Donald worth a new contract extension with the Los Angeles Rams?

The question is basically an insult. Aaron Donald has been arguably the best player at his position since debuting with the team in 2014 when the team was in St. Louis. This is not merely an opinion, as the numbers back it up.

aaron donald los angeles rams
Los Angeles Rams defensive lineman Aaron Donald holds up the Vince Lombardi Super Bowl trophy during the team’s victory celebration and parade in Los Angeles, Wednesday, Feb. 16, 2022, following the Rams’ win Sunday over the Cincinnati Bengals in the NFL Super Bowl 56 football game. (AP Photo/Marcio Jose Sanchez)

Aaron Donald has participated in every Pro Bowl since making his NFL debut in 2014, a year that saw him cement himself as the NFL’s Defensive Rookie of the Year. Following that, he has been awarded NFL Defensive Player of the Year on three separate occasions. 2018 saw him lead the league in quarterback takedowns with 20.5.

Donald became in September 2018 the first player not playing quarterback position to earn $20 million per year by signing a six-year, $135 million contract extension with the Rams, and his $40 million signing bonus is the largest amount in history for a player other than a quarterback.

However, there are now 24 players who are not quarterbacks being paid above 20 million per year, and Aaron Donald is not even in the top ten on that list, so the player’s demands, considering his status in the league, are more than justified .

What about Cooper Kupp?

Since his debut with the Los Angeles Rams in 2017, Cooper Kupp hasn’t had the same illustrious career as Donald, but much of the team’s success in the 2021 campaign was thanks to him. Kupp led the league in post-receiving yards last season with 1947 — 300 more than the second-ranked player in that category — and also in touchdowns scored after receiving with a total of 16. All of this earned him NFL Offensive Player of the Year and Super Bowl MVP honors.

Los Angeles Rams wide receiver Cooper Kupp poses for a photo with the Super Bowl MVP trophy during a press conference following the NFL football team’s Super Bowl win over the Cincinnati Bengals Monday, Feb. 14, 2022, in Los Angeles. (AP Photo/Marcio Jose Sanchez)

Kupp is under contract until 2023 with the organization and will earn $14.5 million this year and $14.25 million over the next, and with the market for open receivers having exploded after Tyreek Hill and Davante Adams earned multi-year contracts worth more than $25 million per year, Cooper Kupp will undoubtedly expect to be highly compensated for his efforts.

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