Rams News: Sean McVay Recounts When Aaron Donald Told Him About Retirement
Aaron Donald, Sean McVay, Rams
(Photo by Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images)

The 2024 season will look vastly different for the Los Angeles Rams as they’ll be without franchise icon Aaron Donald, who retired earlier in the offseason.

Donald’s retirement came as a shock to the fanbase but not to those within the Rams organization, who seemed to observe him cherishing the last season of his career.

Head coach Sean McVay and Donald developed a close relationship throughout the years that was cemented by their Super Bowl LVI win.

In appearance on Green Light with Chris Long, McVay recounted what it was like to hear Donald tell him he was done playing:

“I think the first thing is, and you know Aaron really well, and one of the things I that I appreciate the most, Chris, is he let me in. We had a relationship that I really cherished. Biggest thing I would say is when you know somebody like I did with Aaron, he didn’t have to tell me. I saw the way he that he moved throughout the whole last year. He took moments in, he was really cherishing it. He’s always really been appreciative of the journey and I’ve always loved that about him. But there was just certain things when you can just see people are savoring moments that it felt like he knew without wanting the attention that typically can be accompanied with some of these retirements things like that. That’s not who he is. But I just knew by the way that he kind of moved throughout that year, the way that he poured into these younger guys, the way that he was even just after games, you’re just cherishing these moments. And when he told me, I knew. Right when we walked off the field in Detroit I said, ‘That’s it, huh?’ And he goes, ‘Yep, that’s it.’ Said I love you, you’ve changed my life for the better. I can’t even tell you the amount of positive things that you’ve brought to my life and what you mean to me as a person more importantly than a player.”

Donald had been mulling retirement for years and he left the game on a high note after leading the Rams back to the playoffs. Donald will go down as arguably the greatest player in team history and will surely be missed.

While replacing a player of Donald’s caliber will not be easy, the Rams did a good job adding to their defensive line in the draft by taking Jared Verse, Braden Fiske and others in the later rounds.

Rams players and legends congratulate Aaron Donald on retirement

After Aaron Donald retired, several Rams players, legends and other figures congratulated him on retirement.