Rams Star Aaron Donald Reveals Potential Retirement Year

Donald considered hanging it up at the start of this offseason.

For eight years, Los Angeles Rams defensive tackle Aaron Donald has dominated NFL offensive linemen, making the Pro Bowl each season and earning first-team All-Pro nods in all but one.

Last year, Donald added another accolade to his never-ending list: Super Bowl champion. Naturally, the Pittsburgh alum ended it in style, heavily influencing Cincinnati Bengals quarterback Joe Burrow on a do-or-die fourth down in the game’s final drive.

This offseason, the 31-year-old Donald contemplated retirement but turned the possibility into contract leverage. As such, he’ll enter his ninth professional season as the highest-paid non-quarterback in league history, locked up by the Rams through 2024.

Still, once retirement creeps into a player’s mind, it can be difficult to get rid of. So, how long will Donald be making the lives of offensive coordinators and linemen alike miserable?

Donald told NBC Sports that he plans on playing at least through the conclusion of the 2023 season, meaning a minimum of two more years.

“I got a two-year commitment right now,” Donald said. “I’m going to do everything I can while I’m here to help the organization win and be successful. I’m going to last as long as I can, as long as I can play at a high level.”

Donald has accomplished all that there is to do, other than winning MVP, which hasn’t been done by a defender since Lawrence Taylor in 1986. He’s cemented himself as one of the top defensive linemen in league history and has Canton calling his name.

And yet, Donald’s back. If history once again repeats itself, he’ll be voted to another Pro Bowl, be named first-team All-Pro, and finish top-5 in Defensive Player of the Year voting, if not win the award.

But, why? As so many greats have done before him, Donald values team success over personal accolades, and he has one goal on his mind entering the 2022 season: going back-to-back.

You can follow Daniel Flick on Twitter @DFlickDraft

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