Because of an interview he did, some people would believe the Rams’ defensive powerhouse would be retiring.
However, shortly after that fateful interview, Donald would sign a contract extension with Los Angeles.
While the deal keeps him in Los Angeles until the 2025 season, 2024 is a potential out year with his contract.
But even with the out year being in 2024, there’s three things that could cause him to retire in 2023.
3. A Major Injury This Season Could Make Him Change His Mind About Staying In The NFL
Injuries in the NFL factor into players’ choices with retirement.
It would be no different with Donald.
While he’s never missed an NFL game because of an injury, 2021 saw him get banged up in games.
The first injury he would face in 2021 came during a playoff game in January of that year.
An emotional @AaronDonald97 after the game.
Nothing but respect for playing through torn rib cartilage! 💯 pic.twitter.com/sqqmr8smrN
— NFL UK (@NFLUK) January 17, 2021
While he went out to play against the Green Bay Packers in the next game, he couldn’t finish because of his injury.
However, another injury in October 2021 saw him managing the injury and complete the 2021-22 NFL season.
Per team spokesman, Aaron Donald banged his knee in last week's game and had some swelling so is day to day.
Matt Gay had ankle soreness so also resting (saw him working a bit off to the side).
All players on injury report (including Donald and Gay) expected to play Sunday. https://t.co/bxLVllsaWj
— Jourdan Rodrigue (@JourdanRodrigue) October 13, 2021
But with dealing with that injury for the rest of the season, it took a little out of him and his desire to play.
If he suffers a major injury this season, he’ll put his health first before anything else.
2. He May Retire Next Season If He Wins The MVP Title
Everyone knows by now how Donald has told people he’s at peace with his career.
On I Am Athlete Aaron Donald said only way I’m coming back is if it makes sense. Said I’m at peace if it don’t. Well 2 yr/60M definitely makes sense. That man paid.
— Big 👣 🏁 (@Rod_Rillo) June 6, 2022
With him only coming back if it made sense, and getting paid to return, Donald has done nearly everything he can in his NFL career.
However, he’s never won the MVP title during his NFL career.
That would be the last crowning achievement for him to reach during his career.
Nothing sounds like being at peace with your career than getting the last title you can get as an NFL player.
If he somehow gets that MVP title, he might retire knowing there’s nothing more for him to get.
1. Donald May Retire To Spend His Time With His Family
While a love for the game, and winning Super Bowls, is now in Donald’s veins, that could change after this season.
The Rams defensive end has his family that he might want to stay with, instead of playing football.
With him having three children, with the most recent coming this past September, that family life might call him.
Aaron Donald says he’s proud to welcome a third child to his family, Aaric Donald – a combo of his name and his wife, Erica’s. He now has two sons and a daughter and says they’re his motivation for everything.
— Lindsey Thiry (@LindseyThiry) September 10, 2021
With him saying they are his motivation for everything, they might be that reason for him to retire next offseason.
Those early years with his children can never come back if he misses out on them.
All the money the Rams have given him can’t replace the time and memories with his children.
With his youngest turning one this year, you can’t get those baby years back.
If he sees things this way, don’t be shocked to see him putting his family before football next offseason.NEXT: The Rams Are Receiving Some Must-See Super Bowl Rings