Aaron Donald Contract talks ‘trend in the right direction,’ says Rams’ Sean McVay | Launderer’s report
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Aaron Donald has hinted that he may end up retiring if the price isn’t right for a contract extension.
Los Angeles Rams coach Sean McVay allayed some concerns on Wednesday, saying journalists “things are going in the right direction” in the negotiations.
McVay added that Donald’s comments, which came on the I am an athlete podcast, did not surprise the Rams.
“I’m talking about retirement, that was happening long before we won a Super Bowl,” Donald said. “I was saying since I came into the league I was going to play eight years and be done with it. That’s exactly what I was saying. He just came out and everyone thinks, ‘Oh, he said so he wins a Super Bowl, he’s going to retire No, I have teammates, coaches, my family who know I said I’m going to play eight years and I’ll probably be done with football .
“But winning a Super Bowl, you kind of get addicted to it. I’m not going to lie. I want to feel that again. This experience is unlike any other. If I had to play, it’s just to win another Super Bowl , but at the end of the day, it’s still a business and it makes sense to me and my family.”
Donald has three years and $55 million remaining on his contract, but none of that money is guaranteed. The Rams have already paid him a $5 million bonus because he was on the roster after March 17.
Despite signing his contract nearly four years ago, Donald remains the highest paid inside lineman in the NFL, but he is not paid at the same level as the top elites. Pittsburgh Steelers outside linebacker TJ Watt earns an average annual salary of $28 million, which could be the figure Donald is striving for in negotiations.
There is no doubt that Donald remains the sport’s most dominant inner force. He recorded a career-high 84 tackles and 12.5 sacks last season, making his seventh straight All-Pro team and finishing third in Defensive Player of the Year voting. The 31-year-old hasn’t finished below fifth place in DPOY voting in the past seven seasons.
Should negotiations fail and Donald retire, he would be an undisputed first-round Hall of Famer and be remembered as the premier defensive player of his generation. That said, Donald’s competitive fire is clearly pushing him to return this season and push for a repeat Lombardi Trophy.
As long as the price is right.