Future of Rams DL Aaron Donald Soon to be Decided: Report

Aaron Donald

Getty Aaron Donald chats with a ref during Super Bowl 56.

During the Super Bowl on February 13, Rodney Harrison of NBC Sports revealed that Aaron Donald was considering retirement before the Los Angeles Rams would go on to beat the Cincinnati Bengals.

After the team’s victory parade near the USC campus and outside of the L.A. Memorial Coliseum, Donald was spotted in the weight room following the celebration the next day per multiple reports.

Now, on Tuesday, March 2, the future of the league’s most dominating interior defensive lineman looks to be moving.

Donald in Talks

First reported by NBC Los Angeles Rams reporter Michael J. Duarte, the Rams and Donald are soon to negotiate in contract talks.

Furthermore, Kevin Modesti of the L.A. Daily News included that Rams general manager Les Snead is in talks with the perennial Pro Bowler about a new deal.

Lastly, head coach Sean McVay told reporters via a Zoom conference call that he and the Rams are giving Donald all the rest he needs — but said he’s on board with recruiting him back to the Super Bowl champs for one more crack at the Vince Lombardi Trophy.

“He has earned the right to celebrate this,” McVay said. “When the time is right, he will be able to make his decision. He deserves the right to take his time…but I know I will do everything in my power to make it as difficult as possible not to come back.”

Donald’s Current Deal

Donald still has three years left on the six-year, $135 million contract he signed back in 2018 when he was 27.

According to Spotrac, his base salary is set to increase beginning this offseason:

2022: Donald is set to grow financial from the $1,892,000 he made in 2021 to $9,250,000 this period.

2023: The Super Bowl winner is projected to have a $14 million base salary.

2024: Donald is set to make $14 million again. And 2024 represents the final year of his current contract.

Donald also holds a signing bonus of $40 million. Surprisingly, he’s not the highest-paid defender annually in the NFL.

The 2021 leader in sacks T.J. Watt of the Pittsburgh Steelers makes more than $28 million a year ($28.003 million) compared to Donald’s $22.5 million. Donald isn’t even the No. 2 highest-paid defender.

In order, the defensive players who earn more than “A.D” are: Joey Bosa of the Los Angeles Chargers ($27 million), Myles Garrett of the Cleveland Browns ($25 million) and Khalil Mack of the Chicago Bears ($23.5 million).

If the Rams are indeed going to reward Donald with a richer deal, it’ll likely place Donald between the $28.5 million to $30 million range.

Early Prediction for Other Big Rams Contract Also Predicted

Donald isn’t the only Ram who could see more money in the personal bank.

Following the Super Bowl victory, there was chatter of quarterback Matthew Stafford getting a new deal that would keep him in L.A. Well, according to Joel Corry of CBS Sports, Stafford could get a new deal soon — but he predicts he won’t make more than one other past Super Bowl winner.

“Don’t expect a Matthew Stafford contract extension to be less than Patrick Mahomes’ $45M per year unless he gives Tom Condon (agent) specific instructions to leave money on the table,” Corry tweeted.

Rams reporter Jourdan Rodrigue of The Athletic also chimed in:

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