Rams News: Aaron Donald Unsure How He’ll Feel When Regular Season Starts
Aaron Donald, Rams
Jayne Kamin-Oncea-USA TODAY Sports

The Los Angeles Rams are going into the 2024 NFL season missing a Hall of Fame piece with the retirement of defensive tackle Aaron Donald. The superstar defensive lineman has been the anchor of the Rams defense for the last 10 years, but finally called it a career after L.A. surprised many with a postseason berth in 2023. Donald had hinted at retirement after the Rams’ Super Bowl victory.

Now that it’s all said and done, the Rams can start to plan for life after Donald, arguably the greatest player in franchise history and one of the greatest defensive players in the history of the NFL. And while they may never truly be able to replace him, they can take solace in knowing that he gave everything he had to the Rams organization.

And as Donald looks ahead, he is unsure of what life will be like for him once the NFL season starts and he isn’t around the team anymore, via the Green Light podcast with Chris Long:

“It’s just not knowing as far as how I’m going to feel when the season’s actually around. Right now, I’m happy, I’m at peace. I got the development company going on, Donald Development Group, where we got 38 units we’re working on in Pittsburgh. We just did some meetings to potentially get some more projects our way. Got the Ready brand that’s doing amazing that I’ve got ownership in. AD99 Solutions, so I got things I’m focusing on, things that got to the point where we’ve got an income coming in. But as far as knowing what’s going to happen when the season comes around and I’m not on the field, I’m not part of it, I don’t know how I’m going to feel. In my head, I’m like, I’m going to be happy watching it on TV or watching it in the stands, but I don’t know. For me it’s just not knowing how I’m going to feel, because you never know until it’s time, right?”

And before fans get their hopes up that his fear could mean a return, Donald shut down any possibility of that by discussing why he retired and why he would never cheat the game of football by returning:

“I just was never a fan of camp, bro. I just don’t have the passion. Thinking about having another camp, I’m like, there’s no way,” he said. “That’s why my two holdout years, I was loving that. I don’t have to do camp. I just train, I’m with the family now and I come back for the season. I actually enjoyed that. But I just don’t have the passion to go through another – thinking about the season and work and all the things I’ve got to do to keep my body up, I just don’t have the urge to do it anymore, so the passion to play the game is no longer there. If I was to come back, I feel like I’m just coming back for a check and I can’t disrespect the game of football like that and just play for money. I never was that guy, I can’t be that guy now because if I was to do that, I wouldn’t be the same player that I was.”

Donald seems very set in his decision after almost retiring two years ago. He is certainly at peace and any questions of a return are highly unlikely at this time. Of course, things are never certain until they happen, but Donald seems more than happy to figure out retired life before making a return to the Rams.

Aaron Donald believes Rams need another edge rusher

Los Angeles rebuilt its secondary in free agency, bringing back Darious Williams and signing Kamren Curl and Tre’Davious White. However, they left the defensive line almost untouched despite the obvious need along the edge and interior.

The interior, in particular, became a sudden area of concern after Donald decided to retire from the NFL. Without Donald, new defensive coordinator Chris Shula will need need to be creative when it comes to generating pressure.

When breaking down the Rams defense for next season, Donald emphasized the need for another edge rusher.