Aaron Donald and the Rams’ futures in question
Los Angeles Rams star defensive tackle Aaron Donald is “at peace” with retirement if he cannot agree on a new deal with the team that drafted him in 2014.
LA is openly negotiating with Donald, whose current contract runs out in 2024 but does not contain any guaranteed money through its expiration. Head coach Sean McVay said at the league’s annual meeting in March that Donald was returning, although the three-time Defensive Player of the Year said on the I Am Athlete podcast that that hinges upon a new contract.
“It ain’t about the money, it’s a business at the end of the day,” Donald said on the podcast, hosted by former NFL players Brandon Marshall, LeSean McCoy, and Adam “Pacman” Jones. “That’s what you’ve got to see. For me, it’s about winning. I don’t want to play football if I can’t win anyway, so I feel like … if I got a real opportunity to win another Super Bowl, then it makes sense to play. But again, it’s still a business. We’ve got to handle the business side of things, and if that wasn’t to get handled then, you know, it is what it is type of situation. I’ll be fine regardless.”
Donald also said during the taping that he envisioned retiring after eight professional seasons, a mark which he hit during last year’s successful Super Bowl campaign— however, he said that going out on a high note has nothing to do with his decision.
“But me talking about retirement, that was happening way before we won a Super Bowl,” said Donalds. “I’ve been saying that since I got into the league that I was going to play eight years and be done. That’s just what I’ve been saying. It just came out and then everybody think that ‘Oh, he said if he wins a Super Bowl he’s going to retire.’ Nah, I got teammates, coaches, my family who know about this. I said I’m going to play eight years, and I’m going to probably be done playing football.”
Despite the previous plans, Donald’s content stepping away from the game does not mean that he would not like to suit up again. The Rams’ centerpiece shared that he would love to feel the excitement of capturing another Lombardi trophy.
“But winning a Super Bowl you get kind of a little addicted to it,” said Donald. “I want to feel that again. I ain’t going to lie, that experience is like none other. If I was to play, it’s just to win another Super Bowl, but at the end of the day, it’s still a business and it got to make sense to me and my family.”
“A.D.” finished the podcast by saying that he and the Rams would “probably” work out an arrangement, returning him to a defense that includes Bobby Wagner, Jalen Ramsey, and Leonard Floyd.
Donald finished last season with 84 tackles, 12.5 sacks, and four forced fumbles and produced four tackles and two sacks in a 23-20 Super Bowl win over the Cincinnati Bengals.