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#pounditThursday, December 8, 2022

Report reveals how close Aaron Donald came to retirement

Aaron Donald in pads

Sep 19, 2021; Indianapolis, Indiana, USA; Los Angeles Rams defensive end Aaron Donald (99) on the sideline in the first half against the Indianapolis Colts at Lucas Oil Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Trevor Ruszkowski-USA TODAY Sports

Aaron Donald spent a good portion of the offseason talking about possibly retiring, but few were aware just how close the Los Angeles Rams’ star defensive lineman came to walking away from the sport.

Donald went as far as to send a letter to the Rams notifying the team of his retirement and instructing the organization to pass it along to the NFL, according to Ian Rapoport of NFL Network. The Rams did not send the letter, but instead engaged in last-ditch contract talks with Donald’s agent Todd France that ultimately led to a new deal.

Donald and the Rams were at a standstill in contract talks in May, when Donald sent the letter. Rapoport notes that it is not clear if Donald’s letter was serious or merely a negotiating tactic, but regardless, it played a role in bringing the two sides to an agreement.

As late as the end of May, Donald was essentially saying he would retire if his contractual demands were not met. While it seems simple in retrospect, he was evidently telling the truth at the time.

Ultimately, Donald received a monster raise to come back. He is signed through 2024. Fans should appreciate him even more given how close he apparently was to not coming back at all.

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