Right after the Los Angeles Rams won the Super Bowl in February, multiple members of the team said they wanted to run it back next season and go for back-to-back world championships.
Donald was considering retirement, but on Monday, he accepted a huge new contract to remain with the reigning champs.
His new deal will make him the highest-paid non-quarterback in the NFL this coming season.
Sources: The #Rams have re-worked All-World DT Aaron Donald’s 3 remaining contract years to give him a massive $40M raise through 2024, making him the highest paid non-QB in NFL history at 31 years old. He gets $95M(!) through 2024. pic.twitter.com/SoDRw4GHE4
— Ian Rapoport (@RapSheet) June 6, 2022
Donald was an integral part of L.A.’s defense, so much so that some thought he should’ve won the MVP of the Super Bowl, an award that went to wide receiver Cooper Kupp.
With the Pittsburgh native back in the fold, the Rams look like the favorites to win the NFC once again in 2022.
Donald Is The Lynchpin Of The Rams’ Defense
Donald is a sure-fire first-ballot Hall of Famer and one of the greatest pass rushers the game of football has ever seen.
Last season he had 12.5 sacks, four passes defended, four forced fumbles, 19 tackles for loss, and 25 quarterback hits.
His production earned him his eighth trip in his eight NFL seasons to the Pro Bowl and his seventh-straight selection to the All-Pro First-team.
In four playoff games this past season, he posted 3.5 sacks and nine QB hits, as well as the defensive play that sealed the world title for his team.
Aaron Donald incominggggg!
— NFL UK (@NFLUK) April 15, 2022
The Rams’ pass defense was one of the best in pro football, as they ranked third in interceptions and second in passing touchdowns allowed.
With Donald pressuring opposing QBs and cornerback Jalen Ramsey shrinking the backfield, the Rams were able to consistently get big stops, first against Tom Brady and the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, then versus the San Francisco 49ers in the NFC Championship Game, and finally against the Cincinnati Bengals in the Super Bowl.
No One In The Conference Can Match The Rams’ Talent
In addition to Donald and Ramsey, L.A. now boasts Bobby Wagner, an inside linebacker whom the team is counting on to slip seamlessly into the role Miller played after coming there via a midseason trade.
Some have criticized the Rams for giving up too many draft picks in order to go “all-in” on winning now, but no one can deny they have an embarrassment of riches.
More significantly, no one else in the conference can match what they currently have.
With tight end Rob Gronkowski still not sure if he wants to return to the team, the Bucs are still title contenders, but are clearly not at the top of the pecking order, especially with Bruce Arians out as head coach.
The 49ers also have a very talented roster, especially on offense, but they have a quarterback controversy, and both of their QBs have major question marks.
In addition, there is the saga surrounding star wideout Deebo Samuel and whether he will remain with the team.