Rams’ Aaron Donald, 3-Time NFL DPOY, Announced His Retirement

Los Angeles Rams defensive end Aaron Donald (99) celebrates Super Bowl LVI win.
Los Angeles Rams defensive end Aaron Donald (99) celebrates Super Bowl LVI win in February 2022. Photo by Robert Gauthier/Los Angeles Times/Shutterstock (12804041d)

The Los Angeles Rams’ star defensive tackle Aaron Donald announced his retirement from the NFL on Friday. Donald, who won the NFL Defensive Player of the Year honors three times, retires after 10 years in the league.

Donald shared the news on his social media, posting a statement and a short video recapping his time in the NFL.

“For 10 years, I have been fortunate to play the game of football at the highest level. I’m thankful for the people I’ve met along the way, the relationships I’ve built and the things I’ve accomplished with my teammates and individually,” Donald said in the statement while adding that he is “excited about the off the field possibilities.”

The news about Donald’s retirement doesn’t come as a surprise, even though he is only 32. He already contemplated retirement after helping the Rams win Super Bowl LVI. At the time, he was talked out of retirement with an improved contract that saw him become the first non-quarterback to earn more than $30 million annually.

This time, however, it appears that Donald has firmly made up his mind and is saying goodbye to football for good despite coming off a productive 2023 season that saw him make 53 tackles, 8.0 sacks, and three pass deflections en route to his 10th consecutive Pro Bowl appearance.

Aaron Donald entered the league as the Rams’ 14th overall pick in the 2014 NFL Draft. In the following decade, he established himself as one of the greatest defensive players of all time. He made the First-team All-Pro eight times, which is second-most by a player in his first 10 seasons in the history of the NFL.

Donald retires with 111.0 sacks in 154 games as a pro, which puts him at the top of the Rams’ all-time list. Over the course of his career, he also made 543 tackles, 260 QB hits, and 24 forced fumbles.