It's beginning to feel more and more as if Aaron Donald isn't kidding around. Not to say that he ever was in regards to mulling possible retirement from the NFL in 2022 but, as of late, he's really applying pressure to the Los Angeles Rams to come to terms on a new contract that would be more commensurate with what he brings to the table -- or say goodbye to one of the best to ever play the game. News of Donald's possible retirement landed in the Super Bowl LVI pregame show but was followed by a victory over the Cincinnati Bengals and, later, head coach Sean McVay proclaiming the perennial All-Pro would return next season.
But hold your horses Mr. McVay, because Donald has yet to rubber stamp that take, and is instead hoping to land a new contract that would undoubtedly set the market at his position. There have been discussions toward that goal but, as the calendar flips to June, the two sides remain apart on that matter.
And if Donald and the Rams can't agree on a number, he's totally fine calling it a career -- ahead of what would be his ninth NFL season -- particularly seeing as he literally has nothing more to prove.Kanye West's Donda Sports agency, he's already positioning himself for post-retirement marketing and career moves, be it now or later.
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"It ain't about the money, but it's a business at the end of the day," Donald told Brandon Marshall's "I Am Athlete" podcast. "That's what you've got to see. For me, it's about winning. I don't want to play football if I can't win anyway, so I feel like if I got a real opportunity to win another Super Bowl, then it makes sense to play.
"But again, it's still a business. We've got to handle the business side of things, and if that wasn't to get handled then, you know, it is what it is type of situation. I'll be fine regardless."
The three-time NFL Defensive Player of the Year and seven-time All-Pro also admitted thoughts of a possible retirement didn't surface just ahead of the Super Bowl, but had instead been on his mind for quite awhile.
"But me talking about retirement, that was happening way before we won a Super Bowl," he said. "I've been saying that since I got into the league that I was going to play eight years and be done. That's just what I've been saying. It just came out and then everybody thinks that, 'Oh, he said if he wins a Super Bowl he's going to retire.'
"Nah, I got teammates, coaches, my family who know about this. I said I'm going to play eight years, and I'm going to probably be done playing football."
He also admits, however, that his recent taste of Super Bowl success has created an unforeseen craving for more.
"Winning a Super Bowl, you get kind of a little addicted to it," said Donald. "I ain't going to lie. I want to feel that again. That experience is like none other. If I was to play, it's just to win another Super Bowl, but at the end of the day, it's still a business and it got to make sense to me and my family."
Your move, Rams.