Aaron Donald signs new contract with Rams, All-Pro DT becoming highest-paid non-QB in NFL history

Aaron Donald signs new contract with Rams, All-Pro DT becoming highest-paid non-QB in NFL history

Aaron Donald is not only about to give up a possible retirement to help the Rams in their bid to repeat as Super Bowl champions, but he will now be paid handsomely to do so. The All-Pro defensive tackle agreed to work the remaining three years of his contract with the Los Angeles Rams, and in doing so, he became the highest-paid non-QB in NFL history.

Specifically, Donald should receive a fundraising of 40 million dollars by the Rams and will see $95 million in total on his contract which spans the 2024 season. Over the next two seasons, Donald will be guaranteed $65 million. As the contract is structured, Donald will then have the option to retire or return in 2024 for an additional $30 million guaranteed. The agreement also includes a no-trade clause, for ESPN.

“I’m locked up to fetch us another ring. Why not?” Donald said in a video posted by the team after announcing the deal. “At SoFi Stadium, I get chills thinking about it. Let’s get to work.”

This contract restructuring has been ongoing since the clock hit zero in Los Angeles’ Super Bowl LVI victory over the Bengals. During these negotiations, reports had even revealed that Donald would just retire if he hasn’t received a raise that better reflects the current market and where he stands, he is arguably the best defensive player in the entire NFL. There were also questions regarding Donald’s attendance at the Rams’ mandatory minicamp. However, his presence is no longer in doubt since he has would have taken a medical examination and signed his new contractensuring he will be back for Los Angeles’ title defense.

“It’s not great news, it’s phenomenal, exceptional, any nice adjective you can put around it,” head coach Sean McVay said of Donald’s SiriusXM deal. “But it is, it’s a big deal and he’s earned it. And he’s really one of the only ones in my opinion. It means so much to me, to our organization. I think the respect that he has sparked in this league from guys who have done at such a high level, what he has achieved in his eight years is unparalleled.

“And so [we] wanted to be able to come up with a solution to, you know, get him taken care of. May he continue to lead the way for our team, for our defence. And, you know, we felt the trend was going in the right direction when he was at our wedding on Saturday night. So a lot of good things have happened for me in the last few days.”

Donald is no stranger to resetting the market on the defensive side of the ball. In August 2018, the 31-year-old signed a six-year, $135 million extension with $87 million guaranteed. At the time, that made Donald the highest-paid defensive player in NFL history, but he had since been passed before this latest deal.

The Pitt product spent his entire career with the Rams after they selected him with the No. 13 overall pick in the 2014 NFL Draft. Upon his arrival, Donald established himself as one of greatest defensive players of all time and a Hall of Famer without a doubt. During his career, Donald was named Defensive Player of the Year three times, was an All-Pro seven times, and was named to the Pro Bowl in all eight seasons of his career.

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