The Lions were bold at the start of negotiations with the Rams surrounding the Matthew Stafford trade and reportedly had their eye on Aaron Donald.
The Matthew Stafford trade set a new standard for the booming quarterback trade market this offseason.
The Detroit Lions sent Stafford to the Los Angeles Rams in exchange for Jared Goff, two first-round picks, and a third-round pick. That is a nice haul, but it turns out the Lions started off with an insane asking price that could have led the Rams to hang up and never call back.
Lions asked for Aaron Donald
There is nothing wrong with being bold in negotiations. The Lions had the leverage with teams wanting Stafford and it makes sense to at least ask for Aaron Donald. Now fans are left wondering if Rams GM Les Snead thought it was a joke.
Donald is a three-time Defensive Player of the Year, six-time first-team All-Pro, and a seven-time Pro Bowler. The Rams acquired Stafford with the hope he can provide better play than Goff and lead the team to a Super Bowl title. Trading Donald would actively make the team worse and never had a chance of happening.
The quarterback market is truly insane in 2021. Stafford brought in two first-round picks and Carson Wentz may end up doing the same. Teams are getting desperate and seem to be forgetting about logic in the quest for a franchise quarterback.
Donald signed a six-year max deal in 2018 and remains under contract through 2024. However, his dead cap value does drop to $0 in 2023. If the Rams do reach a point where they want to rebuild, a trade for Donald becomes a possibility. But it is going to take much more than a Stafford to land the defensive star.
A boatload of picks and players is more realistic if a team even wants to discuss a Donald trade.
The Lions shot their shot and still got a nice haul in return. They also gave the Rams front office a good laugh in the process.