Aaron Donald retirement: Rams All-Pro calls it quits after dominant, Hall of Fame worthy career

Aaron Donald is done terrorizing NFL offenses.

The three-time AP Defensive Player of the Year announced his retirement after 10 seasons with the Rams via X, formerly Twitter, on Friday morning.

“Cheers to what’s next,” Donald wrote on X. “Extending a big thank you to the Rams and all of the fans for your support over these last 10 years. Much love.”

Donald spent all 10 seasons of his career with the Rams after being drafted in 2014 with the 13th pick in the first round. He played two seasons in St. Louis before the Rams moved to Los Angeles in 2016.

The defensive tackle won three defensive player of the year awards in four seasons between 2017-2020. He also won a Super Bowl with the Rams in 2021.

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Aaron Donald stats

Donald has been one of the best defensive players in the NFL since debuting in 2014. He’s racked up three defensive player of the years, which is tied with J.J. Watt and Lawrence Taylor for the most all-time.

He’s also the second player in NFL history to play at least 10 seasons and be selected to the Pro Bowl in each season, per ESPN’s Evan Kaplan. Barry Sanders is the only other player with this feat.

Donald, 6-1, 280 pounds, was consistently a focal point of opponent’s protection game plans. He played in 154 games and made 111 sacks and 340 solo tackles.

Here’s a detailed year-by-year look at Donald’s stats.

Year Games Total tackles TFL Sacks Forced fumbles
2014 16 48 18 9 2
2015 16 69 22 11 0
2016 16 47 17 8 2
2017 14 41 15 11 5
2018 16 59 25 20.5 4
2019 16 48 20 12.5 2
2020 16 45 14 13.5 4
2021 17 84 19 12.5 4
2022 11 49 10 5 1
2023 16 53 16 8 0
Total 154 543 176 111 24

Donald expressed his gratitude toward the Rams organization for fostering his 10-year career.

“I respected this game like no other and I’m blessed to be able to conclude my NFL career with the same franchise that drafted me,” Donald wrote on X. “Not many people get drafted to a team, win a World Championship with that team and retire with that team. I do not, and will not, take that for granted.”

Aaron Donald career earnings

Donald brought home lots of silverware: defensive player of the years, All-Pro selections, Pro Bowls and Super Bowl LVI. Because of his on-field dominance that’ll result in a future Hall of Fame induction, he also earned quite a lot of money over his 10 seasons.

The All-Pro DT even signed a record-breaking contract that made him the highest-paid non-QB in the league in 2022. The deal was three-years, $95 million. He is still under contract in the 2024 season despite retiring.

Year Earnings
2014 $6.1 million
2015 $946,000
2016 $1.3 million
2017 $1.8 million
2018 $40.9 million
2019 $9.1 million
2020 $17 million
2021 $19 million
2022 $31.5 million
2023 $28.5 million
2024 $13.8 million
Total $170.9 million

This doesn’t include any endorsement deals that Donald signed during his career. He’s inked deals with Nike, Hulu, Pepsi among others, according to Sportskeeda.

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