Sources: Rams signing Aaron Donald to massive restructured contract

The Los Angeles Rams are rewarding All-Pro defensive lineman Aaron Donald with a massive contract restructure, according to sources.

Aaron Donald has been rewarded with a massive contract extension. The Los Angeles Rams are signing the star defensive tackle and former NFL Defensive Player of the Year to a restructured contract that pays him $95 million over the next three seasons, including $65 million guaranteed in 2022 and 2023, according to league sources.

Aaron Donald rewarded with massive contract restructure

Donald was previously due base salaries of $9.25 million, $14 million, and $16.75 million in 2022, 2023, and 2024.

Now, he’s the highest-paid non-quarterback in the NFL.

After briefly contemplating retirement, Donald recharged the batteries and made a commitment to the NFC West franchise.

“I don’t even know how to articulate how relieved I am,” Rams coach Sean McVay said during the NFL owners’ meetings. “Maybe I would have done the TV stuff if Aaron Donald had retired, no. As special as you think Aaron Donald is, he’s that much better. He epitomizes what’s right about the Rams as far as work capacity. I think he really elevated his game in terms of pushing people and leading. You could see how vocal he was during the course of the playoffs.

“He was as much of a reason why we won as anybody, the type of competitor he is. What I was really happy about was being able to see him enjoy what he and his teammates did. He hit reset. Think back to 2020 and not being able to be at his best because of the rib injury he sustained during the playoffs against the Seattle Seahawks. He decided he wants to come back and lead the way. It’s very important to get his contract figured out because I think he deserves it, and he’s earned it.”

A three-time NFL Defensive Player of the Year, Donald was seeking a raise after signing a six-year, $135 million extension in 2018.

“Well, it’s a huge priority for us,” McVay said. “I know that our group is working with Todd France and trying to get that figured out. Feel really good about Aaron’s excitement about coming back and continuing to lead the way for us. But that is a piece that we do want to be able to get figured out for him. And I think he’s deserving of it. And so, we’re in the process of working through that right now.”

Accomplished pro, future Hall of Fame selection

The future Hall of Famer and seven-time All-Pro, Donald, 30, has 98 regular-season sacks and 23 forced fumbles in his eight NFL seasons. He has recorded 10 or more sacks six times, including a league-high 20.5 sacks in 2018. Last season, he generated 12.5 sacks.

Prior to the Super Bowl, there were loud rumors that if the Rams won, Donald might retire from the NFL.

Donald sealed the Rams’ victory by stuffing running back Samaje Perine on 3rd-and-1 before pressuring star quarterback Joe Burrow into the game-ending incompletion on fourth down.

Although Cooper Kupp won MVP honors, Donald was a menace in the Super Bowl. The Bengals had to double-team him consistently. If they didn’t, Donald got through. He finished the game with 2 sacks, 2 tackles for loss, and 3 quarterback hits.

After the Super Bowl, Donald said, “I’m just in the moment right now. I’m enjoying this with my family. It’s a blessing.”

Aaron Wilson is the NFL Insider for Pro Football Network. Follow him on Twitter: @AaronWilson_NFL.


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