Rams legend Aaron Donald shares emotional retirement message after 10 seasons in NFL

Throughout his illustrious 10-year NFL journey, Aaron Donald remained loyal to the Los Angeles Rams, having begun his career with the franchise during its time in St. Louis before transitioning with the team to Los Angeles. Amid rumors swirling about a potential move to the Pittsburgh Steelers last season, he quickly put an end to any speculation about leaving the Rams.

His unwavering dedication to the Rams organization shone through as he recently decided to retire as a proud member of the Rams. 

Aaron Donald announces retirement

Aaron Donald stunned the NFL world on Friday by announcing his retirement after a decade-long career in the league. The decision marks the end of an era for one of the most celebrated players in franchise and league history.

Donald expressed gratitude for his time in the NFL and the relationships he forged along the way in a heartfelt message. 

“For 10 years, I have been fortunate to play the game of football at the highest level. I’m thankful for the people I’ve met along the way, the relationships I’ve built and the things I’ve accomplished with my teammates and individually,” he said in a lengthy statement.

The 32-year-old then shared his appreciation for the Rams organization while mentioning the rare privilege of spending his entire career with the team that drafted him.

“Respected this game like no other and I’m blessed to be able to conclude my NFL career with the same franchise that drafted me. Not many people get drafted to a team, win a World Championship with that team and retire with that team. I do not, and will not, take that for granted.”

His decision to retire means he won’t fulfill the remainder of his contract, which was slated to end after the upcoming 2024 season. While retirement rumors had circulated privately for the past couple of seasons, both the defensive tackle and the Rams had not publicly acknowledged the possibility of his departure until now.

Looking back at Aaron Donald’s NFL career

Aaron Donald Donald leaves the game as one of the most decorated defensive players, having won three NFL Defensive Player of the Year awards, a feat only two other players in league history have accomplished.

Throughout his illustrious career, he recorded at least eight sacks in 8 of his 10 seasons. His impact extended beyond just sacks, as he tallied 543 tackles, 176 tackles for loss, and 260 quarterback hits in 154 games, per CBS News.

The defensive stalwart was a fixture in the Pro Bowl, earning 10 selections, and receiving eight first-team All-Pro honors. His contributions to the game were recognized with three AP Defensive Player of the Year nods.

One of the defining moments of Donald’s career came during the Rams’ Super Bowl LVI victory, where his relentless pressure forced an incomplete pass from former LSU quarterback Joe Burrow on the game’s final play. This pivotal play secured the Rams’ Lombardi Trophy win.

The Rams’ player finished his career as the only player in the Next Gen Stats era with over 500 QB pressures. His dominance earned him the distinction of being the Rams’ all-time sack leader, with 111 sacks to his name.

As he hangs up his cleats, Donald leaves behind a lasting legacy in the NFL. With eligibility for the Pro Football Hall of Fame in 2029, he is poised to be a first-ballot selection and will forever be remembered as one of the game’s all-time greats

Shabiha Akter

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Shabiha, once a casual observer, has morphed into a die-hard NFL fan. She carefully dissects every play, trade, and strategy. Whether it's breaking down game highlights or predicting playoff outcomes, Shabiha is your go-to source for all things NFL.


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