Aaron Donald Almost Retired, Then the Rams Gave Him $95 Million

Los Angeles Rams Training Camp
Los Angeles Rams Training Camp / Scott Taetsch/GettyImages

Aaron Donald was essentially out the door and his NFL career was over. Then the Los Angeles Rams backed up the Brinks truck.

After the Rams won Super Bowl LVI, Donald reportedly sent a letter to the Rams informing them of his intention to walk away. The team was supposed to pass it along to the NFL, initializing the official retirement process. The Rams waited. Then they talked to Donald. It was never sent.

The Rams then handed the three-time NFL Defensive Player of the Year an absolutely insane contract. LA gave him a three-year contract worth $95 million. The deal is fully guaranteed.

The 31-year-old is certainly worth that much. He's an eight-time Pro Bowler and a seven-time first-team All-Pro. This isn't a legacy contract either. Donald is coming off a 2021 season in which he recorded 84 tackles, had 12.5 sacks and forced four fumbles. He also dominated in the postseason, racking up 3.5 sacks total, and was an absolute wrecking ball in the Super Bowl. A legitimate argument can be made that he's the best player in the NFL. He's also a ton of fun to watch.

Donald almost retired at 30 after winning his first Super Bowl ring. The Rams and the NFL are better off because he didn't. Though he should probably cool it with the helmet swinging.