Skip navigation
Favorites
Sign up to follow your favorites on all your devices.
Sign up

Two years ago, the Rams replaced the three remaining years on defensive tackle Aaron Donald’s contract with a new deal. Today, the Rams did the same thing with quarterback Matthew Stafford, resolving a contract drama that had simmered for months and — but for the new deal — might have boiled over.

Although coach Sean McVay didn’t come out and say it, it’s clear there was concern about Stafford possibly not reporting for camp if they didn’t adjust his contract.

“Here’s the thing I’m excited about, he is here,” McVay told reporters. “We were able to solve that. I’m going to focus on the things that we can control and fortunately, we don’t have to really worry about those things.”

They don’t because they got it done. He could have held in. The fact that they worked to get the contract done before Stafford reported strongly suggests that, without a deal, he wasn’t showing up.

Now, he will. And in time we’ll find out what he got instead of what he was due to make.

Under the prior deal, Stafford had a $31 million salary this year, fully guaranteed. In 2025, he had a non-guaranteed $5 million roster bonus and a $27 million non-guaranteed salary. In 2026, he was due to earn a non-guaranteed $5 million roster bonus and a non-guaranteed $26 million salary.

That’s $31.33 million per year over the next three years, with only $31 million guaranteed.

The issue first surfaced after the Rams didn’t draft a quarterback in round one. Stafford wanted guarantees beyond this season. He presumably got them. Within the next day or two, we’ll know whether he did, and how much of a raise he received.


Duke Shelley is returning to Minnesota.

The free agent cornerback signed with the Vikings on Tuesday, the team announced. Shelley appeared in 11 games with five starts for Minnesota in 2022.

He totaled 30 tackles, an interception and a career-high eight passes defensed for the Vikings two years ago and added one tackle on special teams.

Shelley, 27, returns after spending the 2023 season with the Rams, appearing in 11 games for Los Angeles.

The Bears drafted him in the sixth round in 2019, and he spent three seasons in Chicago. He played 30 games for the Bears.

Shelley has appeared in 52 games in his NFL career, including 11 starts, and has tallied 92 tackles, one interception, 14 passes defensed and one fumble recovery.


The Rams and quarterback Matthew Stafford have come to an agreement on a reworked contract, avoiding a holdout to begin training camp.

Head coach Sean McVay announced the agreement at his Tuesday press conference. McVay was scheduled to speak hours before his presser actually began, but he was part of the meeting between the Rams’ brass and Stafford’s representation, finalizing the new deal.

“That’s what the delay was for,” McVay said. “And so, grateful that we came to the solution that I think we all wanted and now we can focus on this time and him being able to lead the way, and a lot of exciting things to potentially be in store.”

Stafford, 36, had been seeking more security in his contract, as he had just $15 million guaranteed remaining after the 2024 season. Stafford is still signed through 2026, as the reworked agreement did not include any new years.

“There’s been a lot of things that I’ve seen out there and a lot of the things — and I don’t want to say somebody wasn’t accurate — but we were able to get this solved,” McVay said. “We were able to have an understanding of what was important, we were able to articulate it from both perspectives. And I think the ultimate thing was about coming to a solution and finding that common ground. We were able to do that and that was the goal. But I do want to be careful in getting into too many of the particulars.

“What I am grateful for is we were able to solve whatever that ‘issue’ was and now where we are and I’m excited to be able to talk about football and how we move forward.”

Stafford helped lead the Rams to a Super Bowl victory to cap the 2021 season — his first with Los Angeles. Last year, he completed 63 percent of his passes for 3,965 yards with 24 touchdowns and 11 interceptions. He was a Pro Bowler for just the second time in his career in 2023.


The Rams will start training camp without tight end Tyler Higbee as expected.

Sean McVay said during the offseason that Higbee would start training camp on the active/physically unable to perform list, and McVay confirmed it Tuesday.

Higbee tore an ACL and MCL during the team’s playoff loss to the Lions in January, so he could start the season on reserve/PUP as he works his way back.

The Rams added former Seahawks tight end Colby Parkinson in free agency. In his first four seasons, Parkinson has 57 career receptions for 618 yards with four touchdowns.

Higbee, a fourth-round pick in 2016, recorded 47 catches for 495 yards with two touchdowns in 15 games last season.

The Rams are otherwise healthy heading into training camp.


The Raiders made a little news over the weekend with the revelation that their decision to conduct training camp in Southern California comes with a rule that prevents them from promoting the practices, credentialing media from local publications to cover it, and/or allowing fans to attend. That prompted some to wonder how the Cowboys can do those very things with their training-camp sessions in Oxnard, which falls within the prohibited 75-mile proximity to SoFi Stadium.

The answer is simple. The Cowboys were already practicing there before the Rams and Chargers moved to L.A.

Per a source with knowledge of the situation, the Cowboys are exempt from the rule because of their longstanding annual visits to Oxnard for training camp.

The Saints fall into the same category as the Raiders. The Saints understood the limitation, and accepted it, when they agreed to hold camp in L.A. (The Saints plans to hold an open practice for fans at Tulane Stadium and at the Superdome, after they return from L.A.)

The Raiders did, too. But there’s no rule against complaining about the rule. Which the Raiders have sort of done.

And why not? It’s a stupid and petty rule, especially with so many Raiders fans in the area. How many of those Raiders fans will go to Rams camp or Chargers camp instead?