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By Fred Altieri
Sports Reporter 

Rams Bombshell - Aaron Donald Retires!

Future NFL Hall of Famer announces retirement after 10-year stellar career

 

March 14, 2024

LA Rams

Three-time defensive player of the year #99 Aaron Donald

Long live #99! Los Angeles Rams fans were thrown for an unexpected loop this morning as Aaron Donald, three-time AP Defensive Player of the Year, eight-time All-Pro, 10-time Pro Bowl selection, Defensive Rookie of the Year, and a Super Bowl champion during his illustrious 10-year NFL career. He is considered by many to be the greatest interior defensive lineman to ever play the game. General Manager Les Snead said it best with one line: "There will never be another Aaron Donald."

"We are so grateful for Aaron's dedication to greatness and for leading our franchise on and off the field for the past decade," said Rams Owner Stan Kroenke. "He has left his mark on generations of football fans and his accomplishments, coupled with his work ethic and passion, continue to inspire his teammates, coaches and athletes across the globe. It is a privilege to have witnessed one of the greatest players of all time and we are proud that Aaron Donald will forever be part of NFL history as a member of the Rams."

Donald appeared in 154 career regular season games (150 starts) and recorded 543 tackles (340 solo), 111.0 sacks, 176 tackles for loss, 790 pressures, 256 quarterback hits, 525 hurries, 24 forced fumbles, seven fumble recoveries, and 21 passes defended. Donald also appeared in 11 postseason games, including two Super Bowls, and notched 34 tackles (19 solo), 6.0 sacks, 10 tackles for loss, 51 pressures, 16 quarterback hits, 34 hurries and one pass defended.

Head Coach Sean McVay: "The great players in our league elevate the people around them and Aaron has modeled the way for our team as long as I've been with the Rams. He's an elite competitor, someone who leads by example in a way that's authentic to him, and an exceptional teammate who inspires everyone around him to be the best version of themselves.

"As great of a player he is, he's an even better person. He is truly one of one and epitomizes everything that's right about sports. I will forever cherish the memories we've made and will always be grateful for how he poured everything into this game and into our team. He's meant a lot to me personally and to my family."

Donald finished his career ranked third all-time in tackles for loss and 28th all-time in sacks. He is first in Rams franchise history in tackles for loss, second in forced fumbles, and third in sacks. He also ranks first all-time in pressures, hurries, and ranks second in quarterback hits. Donald played 154 regular season games in a Rams uniform, which ranks 21st-most in franchise history, and was the key reason why the Rams won Super Bowl LVI at SoFi Stadium, recording multiple game-sealing defensive stops during the 2022 playoffs that brought the only championship to Los Angeles to date.

LA Rams

Donald has been closely involved in multiple community efforts in Los Angeles ranging from supporting youth football, character development sessions with Operation Progress, with United Way of Greater Los Angeles to combat homelessness. He has also supported his hometown of Pittsburgh by establishing AD99 Solutions, a program aimed to change the trajectory of under-resourced youth by providing education and resources to empower young individuals academically, socially, and athletically.

Donald played his entire career with the Rams franchise starting in 2014, when he was selected in the 1st Round and 13th overall in the NFL Draft. His uniform number 99 will undoubtedly be retired and when the Rams eventually start dedicating statues to the team's all-time greats around the lake at SoFi Stadium, his will stand front and center. Les Snead's words will ring true forever: "There will never be another Aaron Donald."

 

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