Retirement rumors surrounding Los Angeles Rams All-Pro defensive tackle Aaron Donald continue to swirl at a frantic pace. On Monday, it was reported that the seven-time Pro Bowler had signed a deal with rapper Kanye West’s Donda Sports, which only escalated the talk.
Donald continues to hold out from the team’s voluntary organized team activities (OTAs) in the early part of the offseason, and apparently, he is not afraid of the possibility of calling it quits sooner rather than later.
“The Rams have acknowledged that they are working on a new contract with Donald, who is signed through the 2024 season but has no guaranteed money left on his deal. At the annual league meeting in March, Rams coach Sean McVay said that he was relieved that Donald had decided to return for the 2023 season. However, on the I Am Athlete Podcast, Donald indicated that’s contingent on getting a new deal,” per ESPN. “‘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, Adam “Pacman” Jones and LeSean McCoy. ‘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.”
The three-time AP Defensive Player of the Year said on the podcast that had always discussed retiring after eight seasons — 2021 was his eighth season — and winning a Super Bowl has nothing to do with his decision. Los Angeles defeated the Cincinnati Bengals in Super Bowl LVI in February.
Donald has spent his entire career with the Rams since being selected 13th overall in the 2014 NFL Draft. He recorded a career-high 84 tackles in 2021, to go along with 25 quarterback hits, 12.5 sacks, four passes defended and four forced fumbles.
The 31-year-old has only missed two games during his career (both in 2017) and is fourth among all active players in tackles for loss with 150.