Right after the Los Angeles Rams won Super Bowl LVI a few months ago, many members of the team expressed an interest in running it back and going for back-to-back world championships.
So far, that has not been the case.
Star linebacker Von Miller departed to join the Buffalo Bills, wide receiver Robert Woods signed with the Tennessee Titans, and running back Sony Michel headed down to South Florida to play for the Miami Dolphins.
Aaron Donald, the team’s superstar defensive lineman, is still undecided on whether he will return to the team.
Although he is signed through the 2024 season, he has said he is thinking of retiring after just eight seasons in the NFL.
If he doesn’t stay with the Rams, they will not repeat as Super Bowl champs.
Donald Is A Beast
Donald, a native of Pittsburgh, PA, was taken by L.A. with the 13th overall pick in the 2014 NFL Draft and has played his entire career with the team.
He immediately became a force, earning Pro Bowl and Defensive Rookie of the Year honors in his very first season.
In each of the last seven seasons, Donald has made the Pro Bowl and has also been named to the All-Pro First-team each time.
He is a sure-fire Hall of Famer who led the league in sacks in 2018 with 20.5 and in tackles for loss twice.
"Now that he's a Super Bowl champion, [Aaron Donald] is in the conversation for being the best defensive player ever in the history of the NFL."
— Get Up (@GetUpESPN) February 14, 2022
A national audience got to see his immense impact during the Super Bowl when he helped prevent Cincinnati Bengals quarterback Joe Burrow from adding to a late lead, allowing the Rams to come back and win.
Once L.A. took the lead, Donald prevented any thoughts of a Bengals comeback from manifesting.
Aaron Donald incominggggg!
— NFL UK (@NFLUK) April 15, 2022
He turned just 31 on Monday, and one would think that he has plenty of high-level football left in him, especially given that he has been something of an ironman.
In his eight NFL seasons, he has played in all but two contests.
Donald May Be Holding Out For More Money
Needless to say, if Donald actually decides to retire, it would be a major loss for head coach Sean McVay’s defense.
According to ESPN’s Jeremy Fowler, Donald is working on a contract extension with Rams management, but that if they don’t pay him what he wants, he could retire.
“If it’s not met, retirement can still go down,” Fowler wrote about a potential agreement on an extension. “Adding years to an already existing three-year pact takes Donald well into his mid-30s, and who knows whether he wants to play that long? But that’s the best way for Los Angeles to stretch out the money for cap purposes.”
The rest of the NFC seems wide open, and if Donald does call it quits, it would be good news for teams such as the San Francisco 49ers, Arizona Cardinals and Tampa Bay Buccaneers that feel they have a Super Bowl-caliber squad.