Aaron Donald Wants to Keep Playing, But Stan Kroenke is Going to Have to Pay Him
Aaron Donald is currently in football limbo. He is under contract, but retirement rumors have been swirling since before the Super Bowl. That was a Super Bowl the Los Angeles Rams won, meaning Donald has accomplished just about everything a professional football player could ever accomplish. The three-time NFL Defensive Player of the Year discussed this situation with Brandon Marshall, LeSean McCoy and Pacman Jones on the latest I Am Athlete podcast. Here are his own words, via ESPN:
"It ain't about the money, it's a business at the end of the day. That's what you've got to see. 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. We've 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."
It sure sounds like it's about the money. I mean, if Donald's number one priority was winning another Super Bowl he'd take a huge paycut and play on a team-friendly deal that made it easier for the Rams to pay everyone and compete for another title.
Having said that, he should be one of the highest paid players in the league and there's no reason for him to ever take a paycut. Stan Kroenke, the owner of the Rams, is 74-years old and worth $10 billion. He couldn't spend all that money if he tried. Donald deserves all of that money. It is a business and it is good business to pay Aaron Donald well enough for him to continue contributing to your business.
It would be disappointing for fans who love watching Donald play, but the reality is that he's put himself in a position to walk away. He's accomplished everything he wanted. He's made enough money to live comfortably. There is no reason for him to step foot inside the team's facility every again if he's not very well compensated to do so.
Here's hoping Donald gets what he wants and deserves. If he doesn't then there's really only one person to blame.