Aaron Donald will not only be back with the Los Angeles Rams next season, but he’ll remain with them for several more years to come. The Rams and Donald agreed to terms on a reworked contract, locking in the three-time Defensive Player of the Year.
According to Ian Rapoport, Donald gets a $40 million raise through 2024, which are the final three years of Donald’s contract. He now gets $95 million through 2022, averaging more than $30 million per year.
He’s the first defender ever to top that number, making him the highest-paid defensive player in NFL history.
Rapoport added that Donald “did strongly consider retirement,” but he’s returning to the Rams in an attempt to run it back.
The Rams made his return official with this tweet, sharing the commonly used message from their post-Super Bowl celebrations, “Run it back.”
Donald still had three years left on his deal but at $22.5 million per year, he slipped all the way to sixth among all defensive player in annual salary. In other words, he was underpaid for the job he’s done with the Rams, and the team rewarded him with a raise.
Last season, Donald powered the Rams to a Super Bowl victory, helping secure wins in the NFC title game and the Super Bowl with pressures on each of the Rams’ final defensive plays. He finished the regular season with 12.5 sacks and 19 tackles for a loss, his fifth straight season with at least 10 sacks and his seventh career All-Pro selection.
Donald has been the best defender in football for the last five years, winning his first Defensive Player of the Year award in 2017. Since then, he’s racked up 70 sacks and 145 quarterback hits.