Rams Superstar Aaron Donald Announces Retirement From NFL
Aaron Donald, Rams
Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports

Ever since the Los Angeles Rams won the Super Bowl in February of 2022, one of the major topics surrounding the organization was the uncertain future of superstar and no-doubt Hall of Fame defensive tackle Aaron Donald.

The Rams star ultimately chose to return that offseason on a massive extension, but admitted that retirement was very much at the forefront of his mind.

After the following season in which Donald suffered an injury and the Rams had the worst title defense by record in NFL history, Donald decided there was unfinished business and returned in 2023. He led an inexperienced and youthful defense well beyond their limits and was a massive part of the team’s surprise postseason berth last season.

And now, he has decided that bounce back was enough for him. On Friday morning, Donald announced that he is retiring from the NFL, doing so in an emotional post on X:

In his retirement message, Donald thanks both the people of St. Louis and Los Angeles. Donald spent 10 years as a Ram, with two years in the Midwest and eight years in the city of angels. He also described the blessing of getting drafted, winning a championship and retiring with the same team.

Now, he turns his focus to his family: his wife Erica and his four kids, Jaeda, A.J., Aaric and Aali. He is entering a new chapter that sees him saying goodbye to the organization that he has given everything to over the last 10 years.

As for the Rams, they say goodbye to one of the best players not only in franchise history, but in the history of football. Donald ends his career with 10 Pro Bowl selections, eight All-Pro First Team selections, three Defensive Player of the Year Awards and a Super Bowl championship. He is undeniably a first ballot Hall of Famer and could arguably go down as the greatest defensive player in NFL history.

Rams place first right of refusal tender on Michael Hoecht

Another major defensive piece for the Rams in 2023 was outside linebacker Michael Hoecht. He is a free agent, and the Rams have placed a first right of refusal tender on him. This gives the Rams the right to match any offer sheet he signs, while he is free to negotiate with any team.