NFL Rams make Aaron Donald highest-paid non-QB in history

The Los Angeles Rams announced Monday they have reworked defensive tackle Aaron Donald’s contract, with NFL Network and ESPN reporting the team will give him a $40 million raise and make him the highest-paid non-quarterback in NFL history.

While the Rams did not reveal specific terms of the new agreement, they did end any speculation that their star defensive lineman might retire this offseason by tweeting out a photo of Donald signing his contract.

Donald, who had openly mused about retiring this offseason, now has $65 million guaranteed over the next two seasons. The deal will allow Donald to choose to retire after the 2023 season or return in 2024 for an additional $30 million guaranteed.

Los Angeles did not add any new years to Donald’s deal, according to reports.

Donald, 31, originally signed a six-year, $135 million deal in August 2018 and had three years remaining on that contract.

In his illustrious career, Donald has won three Defensive Player of the Year awards, tied for most in NFL history. He was the Defensive Rookie of the Year in 2014 after the Rams made him the 13th overall draft pick out of Pitt. In the seven years that followed, he was named a first-team All-Pro seven times.

Donald has 98 sacks in his eight NFL seasons, posting 12.5 sacks in 2021.

Donald said on a recent podcast appearance that he was “at peace” with the concept of retiring — that he had considered it long before the Rams won Super Bowl LVI — but that it “makes sense to play” if he could win a second Super Bowl.

“But again, it’s still a business,” he said. “We’ve got to handle the business side of things, and if that wasn’t to get handled then, you know, it is what it is type of situation. I’ll be fine either way.”

–Field Level Media

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