Hours before the biggest games of his life, rumors began to swirl that Los Angeles Rams star Aaron Donald was considering retirement after Super Bowl LVI.
Donald mentioned the possibility in a conversation with NBC’s Rodney Harrison, which he later said thought would remain private.
But despite the rumors, Donald went out and had one of his best games, coming up with the two biggest plays of the game to help the Rams beat the Cincinnati Bengals and cement his legacy as a Super Bowl champion.
While the retirement talk continued after the game, especially because the Rams won, Donald halted them a bit by saying at the parade that he would be willing to run it back if the Rams retained key players like Von Miller and Odell Beckham Jr. in free agency.
That hasn’t exactly gone as planned so far as Miller signed a big contract with the Buffalo Bills and Beckham remains a free agent, although a return to the Rams is still likely.
Despite losing Miller though, it appears Donald is not ready to hang up his cleats as he and the Rams have agreed on a contract reworked contract that makes him the highest-paid defensive player ever, per Ian Rapoport of NFL Network:
Sources: The #Rams have re-worked All-World DT Aaron Donald’s 3 remaining contract years to give him a massive $40M raise through 2024, making him the highest paid non-QB in NFL history at 31 years old. He gets $95M(!) through 2024. pic.twitter.com/SoDRw4GHE4
— Ian Rapoport (@RapSheet) June 6, 2022
This is obviously a well-deserved deal for Donald, who is already one of the greatest defensive players of all time and is continuing to build his resume with each year.
In eight seasons with the Rams, Donald has been named to eight Pro Bowls, seven first-team All-Pros, three NFL Defensive Player awards and now a Super Bowl victory.
Now, Donald will have a chance to run it back with the Rams in 2022 and beyond to continue to add to his trophy case.