Aaron Donald's flirtation with retirement is over after the Los Angeles Rams agreed a new three-year, $95million contract that re-establishes the All-Pro defensive tackle as the highest paid defensive player in the NFL.
Donald, 13/2 to be the Defensive Player of the Year for the fourth time, will effectively get a $40 million raise on what he was due to earn between 2022-2024 under the terms of the restructure, which guarantees him $65 million and allows for him to retire in 2024 or come back for another year on $30million.
ESPN report that the new terms include a no-trade clause, so rival teams can pretty much forget about trying to lure the 31-year-old away from the Super Bowl champions.
But leaving L.A. never seemed to be on the eight-time Pro Bowler's agenda anyway with the mere threat of potential retirement floated in a tearful post-Super Bowl victory interview enough to push team officials into action.
A happy and refreshed Donald announced his intentions in a team video posted on social media as other footage emerged of the superstar cavorting around SoFi Stadium as he re-enacted his Super Bowl victory celebrations of four months ago.
"I'm locked back in to go get us another ring. Why not?" Donald said, via @RamsNFL. "At SoFi Stadium, getting chills thinking about it. Let's go to work."
"It's not great news, it's phenomenal, outstanding," Rams head coach Sean McVay said of the deal that makes Donald the highest-paid non-QB in NFL history.
"But it is, it's a big deal and he's earned it, " he told SiriusXM.
"I think the respect that he's garnered around this league from guys that have done it at such a high level, what he's accomplished through his eight years is unparalleled."