Rams’ Star Aaron Donald Becomes the Highest-Paid Non-QB in History of NFL

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. Photo by Robert Gauthier/Los Angeles Times/Shutterstock (12804041d)

The three-time NFL Defensive Player of the Year Aaron Donald just got a big pay rise from the Los Angeles Rams. According to multiple reports, the Rams reworked Donald’s deal to make him the highest-paid non-quarterback in the history of the league.

Donald entered the offseason having three years left on the six-year, $135 million extension he signed back in 2018. While he was the league’s highest-paid defensive player at the time, his deal became less favorable over time. This prompted the 31-year-old player to start mulling retirement if the Rams didn’t offer him a new deal.

The LA team couldn’t allow losing their best player, so they decided to bump Donald’s salary and bring the total value of the remaining three years to a reported $95 million. As a result, the eight-time Pro Bowler will now earn a combined $65 million in 2022 and 2023 while having an option to retire afterward or return to play for $30 million in 2024.

The Rams confirmed the agreement but didn’t disclose the financial terms.

“He’s earned it,” said Rams’ head coach

Sean McVay during a chat with SiriusXM on Monday.” And he truly is one of one in my opinion. Means so much to me, to our organization. I think the respect that he’s garnered around this league from guys that have done it at such a high level. What he’s accomplished through his eight years is unparalleled.”

Since entering the league as a first-round selection in 2014, Aaron Donald has established himself as one of the best defensive players in the league’s history. He earned a Pro Bowl nod in each season and has seven First-team All-Pro honors on top of that. The Pitt product has 441 career tackles and 98.0 career sacks.