Negotiating Tactics: Future Hall Of Famer Aaron Donald Says “I Don’t Need To Play Football To Be Fine”

Rams All-Pro Aaron Donald is the NFL's best defensive player on a Top 5 NFL Defense. (Photo: @PFF/Twitter)

Aaron Donald reportedly wants to be the highest paid player in the entire NFL. While he’s probably pound-for-pound the best player, he’s not a QB, so he’s really reaching with that goal, but, coming off an MVP performance in the Super Bowl, he has all the leverage. 

The Los Angeles Rams haven’t been shy about their intentions to try and win as many championships as they can with their core unit still in its prime. The team has made trade after trade and given out plenty of big-money contracts. It got to the point where GM Les Snead wore a shirt to the Super Bowl parade that read “F*k them picks.”

 

Those words detailed the mindset of the Rams going forward. It’s win now, but wouldn’t that mean you need Aaron Donald? The most dominant gamewrecker in the NFL is telling the Rams that  he isn’t playing another down on his current deal. 

In an interview with “I Am Athlete” podcast Donald talked about not needing football.

“I’m happy, I’m fine. The thing is, I don’t need to play football to be fine. I’m fine. I was blessed to play this game, to make money I’ve made, the accomplishments I made in eight years is, like, I’m complete. If I can win another one, that’s great. But if not, I’m at peace.”

 

 

Donald sounds like a guy who’s comfortable walking away if his salary demands aren’t met.

Donald Mentioning Retirement Isn’t A Surprise

Donald’s contract demands are the latest development fueling his possible retirement talk, but this isn’t the first time he’s mentioned it. Ever since being drafted, the former Pitt Panther player’s goal was to play at least eight seasons and see where he was physically, emotionally and monetarily. It’s safe to say he’s done very well and still has plenty more to offer the game if he’s compensated as he should be. He touched on that subject during his interview.

“But me talking about retirement, that was happening way before we won a Super Bowl. I’ve been saying that since I got into the league, 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 know about this. I said I’m going to play eight years and I’m probably going to be done playing football.”

Donald just completed year eight, one that saw him win his first Super Bowl. The three-time Defensive Player of the Year, and seven-time first-team All-Pro does his damage from the interior, where it’s a 100 percent man’s game.

Donald Wants To Be Highest-Paid Defensive Player

Donald has 98 career sacks despite facing double-teams more than any other player in the league during his eight-year career. His dominance has allowed teammates to have career years, which they turned into big paydays with the Rams or another team.

 

 

Donald’s 2022 salary of $14.2 million is minuscule when you think about his production. And when he looks around the league and sees the money cornerbacks are getting or the $28 million per year that the league’s highest-paid defender TJ Watt is getting, Donald definitely commands a comparable salary. Watt is the reigning DPOY, his first, while AD99 has three. Other guys like Myles Garrett and Joey Bosa, while great players, aren’t in the same stratosphere as Donald, but they’re compensated much better.