Ever since Rodney Harrison let loose at the Super Bowl that Los Angeles Rams defensive tackle Aaron Donald could retire if the Rams won, his future has been a talking point. Given the Rams won, largely because of Donald, retirement suddenly became realistic for the 31-year-old.
As of now, Donald is still with the Rams and ESPN NFL reporter Jeremy Fowler revealed that Donald’s reps are talking with the Rams about a “record-breaking” new deal. That being said, Fowler reported that retirement “was always real” and Donald has a number in mind where if it’s not met, he could still retire.
Donald discussed his future on the I Am Athlete podcast and revealed that while his plan coming into the NFL was to retire after eight seasons, it makes sense to keep going if he’s on a team that can win another Super Bowl.
“For me, it’s about winning. I don’t want to play football if I can’t win anyway, so I feel like if I got a real opportunity to win another Super Bowl, then it makes sense to play. But again, it’s still a business, and we got to handle the business side of things, and if that wasn’t to get handled then, you know, it is what it is type of situation.
“I’ll be fine regardless, but me talking about retirement, that was happening way before we won a Super Bowl. I’ve been saying that since I got into the league I was going to play eight years and be done. That’s just what I’ve been saying. … If I was to play, it’s just to win another Super Bowl, but at the end of the day, it’s still a business and it got to make sense to me and my family.
Playing for the defending Super Bowl champions certainly means Donald is on the right team to keep going. Currently in the middle of a six-year contract that’s paying him an average of $22.5 million, it’s good money for the three-time Defensive Player of the Year. It still means Donald isn’t the highest paid defensive player and by extending now, Donald could get paid more while the Rams get more cap flexibility by saving his cap hit for future years. That way the Rams can get better in other positions and strike where the iron is still hot.