Rams All-Pro pass rusher Aaron Donald announces retirement: 'Cheers to what's next'

Rams All-Pro pass rusher Aaron Donald announces retirement: 'Cheers to what's next'

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After an impressive ten-year run in the NFL, Aaron Donald has decided to call it a career.

The star defensive tackle, who spent his entire storied career with the Los Angeles Rams, shared his retirement plans in a heartfelt social media post on Friday. 

“Throughout my career, I have given my everything to football both mentally and physically — 365 days a year was dedicated to becoming the best possible player I could be,” Donald wrote in a statement. 

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Aaron Donald, #99 of the Los Angeles Rams, looks on after the game against the Seattle Seahawks at Lumen Field on September 10, 2023, in Seattle, Washington. The Los Angeles Rams won 30-13. (Alika Jenner/Getty Images)

The three-time NFL Defensive Player of the Year also expressed appreciation that he spent his final season, and every other season, wearing a Rams uniform.

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“I 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,” he said in a statement posted to social media.”

Donald finishes his storied career with 111 sacks, 76 tackles for loss, and 24 forced fumbles. He was named to ten Pro Bowls and was an eight-time All-Pro selection. 

Donald was a key part of the Rams team that defeated the Cincinnati Bengals in Super Bowl LVI. He is widely regarded as one of the best interior lineman in league history and will likely end up in the Pro Football Hall of Fame.

Aaron Donald in Irvine, Calif.

Aaron Donald, #99 of the Los Angeles Rams, throws the ball during training camp at University of California Irvine on July 29, 2022, in Irvine, California. (Scott Taetsch/Getty Images)

“We are so grateful for Aaron’s dedication to greatness and for leading our franchise on and off the field for the past decade,” Rams owner and chairman Stan Kroenke said in a statement. 

“He has left his mark on generations of football fans and his accomplishments, coupled with his work ethic and passion, continue to inspire his teammates, coaches and athletes across the globe. It is a privilege to have witnessed one of the greatest players of all time and we are proud that Aaron Donald will forever be part of NFL history as a member of the Rams.”

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Donald appeared to contemplate stepping away from football following the 2021 season but ultimately returned to the team on a renegotiated contract. He also flirted with retirement after the 2022 season but ended up returning to Los Angeles and adding another eight sacks to his resume.

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