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Is An Aaron Donald Retirement Still Possible?

Aaron Donald is reportedly not a lock to return to the Rams

After mulling retirement following his team's Super Bowl win, re-signing superstar defensive tackle Aaron Donald has been a top priority for the Los Angeles Rams.

And Donald wants to return to L.A.

However, according to a report, despite his desire to return, Donald could still choose to hang things up, if he and the Rams are unable to come to an agreement on his forthcoming payday. 

Keep in mind that the retirement buzz around Donald — first delivered by NBC’s Rodney Harrison on the Super Bowl pregame broadcast — was always real. And it’s my understanding that Donald has a number he will play for. If it’s not met, retirement can still go down. Adding years to an already existing three-year pact takes Donald well into his mid-30s, and who knows whether he wants to play that long? But that’s the best way for Los Angeles to stretch out the money for cap purposes.

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In 2018 Donald signed a shiny, new six-year deal worth $135 million that will run through 2024. That makes him the fifth-highest paid defensive player in the league behind T.J. Watt, Joey Bosa, Myles Garrett, and Khalil Mack.

Donald has 22.5 million and three years left on his current deal.

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Last season, Donald recorded a career-high in total tackles (84) and assisted tackles (46), while bludgeoning offensive lines to the tune of 12.5 sacks. The former Pitt Panther also had four passes defended, his most since 2016 (five).

Rams GM Snead certainly has other concerns going forward into the offseason with key players like receiver Odell Beckham Jr. still being courted by other teams. 

But make no mistake, the return of Donald would give LA its biggest chance of going back-to-back. 

Feb 13, 2022; Inglewood, California, USA; Los Angeles Rams defensive tackle Aaron Donald (99) celebrates after a pressure in the fourth quarter against the Cincinnati Bengals in Super Bowl LVI at SoFi Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Gary A. Vasquez-USA TODAY Sports
Feb 16, 2022; Los Angeles, CA, USA; Los Angeles Rams defensive end Aaron Donald holds the Vince Lombardi trophy during the Super Bowl LVI championship rally at the Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum. Mandatory Credit: Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports
Jan 30, 2022; Inglewood, California, USA; Los Angeles Rams defensive end Aaron Donald (99) celebrates in the fourth quarter during the NFC Championship Game against the San Francisco 49ers at SoFi Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Gary A. Vasquez-USA TODAY Sports

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