Sometimes I worry about the people who cover sports. There comes a time when people need to realize that a player's name value exceeds his on-field value. That's the case that apparently Bleacher Report needs to learn all about. In their recent article talking about the NFL team's offseason and moves they should make, they claim the Texans should make Los Angeles Rams defensive tackle Aaron Donald a trade target.
And that'd be a great thing, in 2018. Because, honestly, Donald hasn't been the same since. He's been good, that's not in dispute, but his most recent Defensive Player of the Year Award rightfully belonged to T.J. Watt, Donald just got it due to his legacy status, and over the last two years Donald has been solid, if not average as a player.
He has become a mediocre run-stopper, and as he ages, his ability to get after the quarterback has been impacted. He has declined in sacks from 2020 to 2022, and while he had an uptick in 2023, he still finished with just eight.
That's normally a great number, but not for Donald. And not for the price you'd have to pay to get him. If you could land him for a fourth-round pick, on a three-year deal, worth about $18 million total, sure, go make that trade. Right now he has a $33 million cap hit to his name, why would you take that on? He's not worth that anymore. He's also not worth what you'd end up paying to land him.
HIs on-field production does not match what his name value would attribute otherwise. He's still a good player, but he's not such a good player that you have to go get him. You can find a few younger, less-expensive options to improve your team, then sink several major draft picks and a lot of money into a player who's on the decline.