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Rams’ Aaron Donald planning to play at least two more NFL seasons before retiring

© Joe Nicholson-USA TODAY Sports

Aaron Donald openly entertained an early retirement this offseason, admitting he’s “at peace” with his career accomplishments after eight years in the NFL. With the 2022 season just around the corner, however, the Rams‘ star defensive tackle is recommitted to the game. Locked up on a revised contract that makes him the highest-paid non-quarterback in league history, Donald told NBC Sports this week that he plans to play at least two more seasons before hanging up the cleats.

“I got a two-year commitment right now,” Donald told Peter King, “so I’m going to do everything I can while I’m here to help the organization win and be successful. I’m gonna last as long as I can, as long as I can play at a high level.”

Technically, Donald is under contract for three more seasons; his reworked contract, originally signed in 2018, is set to pay him a combined $87 million through 2024. He is only guaranteed money through 2023, however, with the option of guaranteeing additional earnings by returning for the 2024 season. For example, Donald is due $34 million in 2024, per Over the Cap, but he won’t earn the majority of that payout unless he is on the Rams’ active roster after the start of the 2024 league year.

The 31-year-old defensive lineman remains one of the best players in the NFL, looking to log a ninth straight Pro Bowl nod in 2022. A three-time Defensive Player of the Year, he had a career-high 84 tackles to go along with 12.5 sacks during the Rams’ 2021 Super Bowl run. Already widely speculated as a future Hall of Fame candidate, Donald is approaching 100 career sacks, and has eclipsed 15 tackles for loss in all but one of his eight seasons.

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