‘There’s a strong possibility’ Aaron Donald will retire if the Rams won, and they did

Rams defensive end Aaron Donald participates in a practice drill Friday in Thousand Oaks.
(Mark J. Terrill / Associated Press)
Share via

Aaron Donald told former player Rodney Harrison before the Rams’ 23-20 Super Bowl win Sunday, he might retire.

And afterward, Donald didn’t dismiss the notion, saying in response to a question about the report, “I’m going to enjoy this with my teammates, my family, and I’m just going to be in the moment and enjoy this for today, a couple days.”

The Rams All-Pro defensive tackle was interviewed by Harrison for a 12-minute pregame segment on NBC. After the interview aired Sunday, Harrison said that Donald told him off the air that he would consider retirement — if the Rams win. And they did.


Can the Rams repeat as champions next season? They might have bigger concerns with their roster and the future of star defensive lineman Aaron Donald.

Feb. 14, 2022

Harrison was asked by Jac Collinsworth on the air what Donald thinks about his legacy. Harrison answered that Donald doesn’t want to be a defender that accomplished so many individual things but never won a Super Bowl.

He then said, “But he did tell me this, that if he wins the Super Bowl, there’s a strong possibility he could walk away from the game and retire.”

Basking in the glow of Super Bowl LVI, Rams coach Sean McVay would not commit Monday to definitely being on the sideline in L.A. again next season.

Feb. 14, 2022

“You might be trending on that one,” Collinsworth said. “What makes him feel that way?”

Replied Harrison, a 15-year NFL veteran who is serving as an NBC pregame analyst: “He just talked about wanting to spending more time with his family and he talked about his body, he works real hard on his body year around, and he’s achy.”

Donald, 30, has played eight seasons in the NFL and been named an All-Pro seven times and defensive player of the year three times.

Responding to Harrison’s report, Tony Dungy said: “If [Donald] is that motivated to win and possibly retire, I wouldn’t want to have to block him today.”