The Los Angeles Rams are Super Bowl champions, as Sean McVay's squad used a fourth-quarter touchdown to defeat the Cincinnati Bengals, 23-20. Star defensive lineman Aaron Donald made the game-winning pressure of Joe Burrow on fourth-and-1 with under a minute to play, but he wasn't able to celebrate the Super Bowl win in the same way his teammates were, as he was asked several times by reporters on the field if he had just played his last game.
During NBC's Super Bowl pregame show, former New England Patriots star safety Rodney Harrison reported that "there's a strong possibility" Donald could retire should the Rams emerge victorious. Check out what he said, here:
"He's big on legacy, and he doesn't want to be known as a defender that accomplished so many individual things but never won a Super Bowl. But he also told me this, if he wins a Super Bowl, there's a strong possibility that he could walk away from the game and retire."
After the game, Donald was asked multiple times by multiple outlets about the 2022 season and what he was feeling about potentially hanging up the cleats. Donald dodged the questions, repeatedly saying he was just enjoying the moment.
"I'm just in the moment right now," Donald told the NFL Network. "I'm enjoying this. That's all you can do right now. This game is never promised what can happen. I've been blessed and privileged to have the opportunity to play this game at a high level for eight years. So I'm just going to live in the moment right now, enjoy this with my family, with my teammates and just have fun today."
In his postgame press conference, Donald gave a different-sounding answer. He said that as long as McVay is in L.A., he wants to be there too.
"One thing I told him when he got here and had the opportunity to start playing with him and getting to know him, I told him as long as he's here, I want to continue to be a part of this organization and help build on a legacy," said Donald.
Donald has been one of the most impactful defensive players since he was selected by the Rams with the No. 13 overall pick in the 2014 NFL Draft. On Sunday against the Bengals, he recorded four total tackles and two sacks to go along with three QB hits. He's been a Pro Bowl selection in all eight seasons played, a seven-time All-Pro and three-time NFL Defensive Player of the Year. That's tied with Lawrence Taylor and J.J. Watt for the most Defensive Player of the Year awards won, and while he missed out on the honor this season with T.J. Watt's career year, Donald was still a finalist.
Donald turns 31 years old in May, but has shown no signs of slowing down. He led the Rams in sacks (12.5), tackles for loss (19) and QB hits (25) this season. He also broke the franchise record for career sacks, and currently has 98 to his name in the regular season.
Donald isn't the only member of the Rams who could be eyeing an early retirement, as McVay recently admitted he "won't make it" coaching until 60. Per ESPN's Nick Wagoner, there have been recent rumblings about the coach's long-term future. McVay has considered -- even recently -- working as a TV analyst as an alternative to coaching.