INGLEWOOD, CALIFORNIA - FEBRUARY 13: Aaron Donald #99 of the Los Angeles Rams reacts after a sack on Joe Burrow #9 of the Cincinnati Bengals during Super Bowl LVI at SoFi Stadium on February 13, 2022 in Inglewood, California. (Photo by Rob Carr/Getty Images)
NFL

Aaron Donald Gets Paid – Rams Superstar Now Biggest Earning Non-QB In NFL

You may recall that last week, Aaron Donald spoke on a podcast about his career in the NFL potentially coming to a close, if he and his team, the Los Angeles Rams, could not agree terms on a new contract.

Well, after attending head coach Sean McVay’s wedding at the weekend, Donald handed the happy couple one of their best wedding presents; agreeing to sign a new long-term deal with the Rams.

It is the culmination of a somewhat hectic and conflicting end of season period for Donald, who initially expressed his intention to “roll it back” again next season immediately following the Rams Super Bowl win over the Bengals.

However, rumors that Donald would retire remained and they intensified last week after his comments on the “I Am Athlete” podcast, hosted by a trio of former NFL Stars in Brandon Marshall, LeSean McCoy and Adam “Pacman” Jones.

The issue was the complete lack of guaranteed money for Donald over the next three years of his contract with the Rams.

That issue has now been addressed and in a record-busting way.

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Contract Details – New NFL Record

For the second time in his career, Donald will be the highest paid non-quarterback

MIAMI BEACH, FLORIDA – FEBRUARY 24: Aaron Donald and Erica Donald attend Floyd Mayweather’s exclusive red carpet birthday bash at Gabriel South Beach on February 24, 2022 in Miami Beach, Florida. (Photo by Jason Koerner/Getty Images for CGI Merchant Group)

playing in the NFL, picking up a guaranteed salary of $31.7 million.

That is $1.7m more than what the Miami Dolphins agreed to pay former Kansas City Chiefs wide receiver Tyreek Hill earlier this year.

The deal which has seen his current contract reworked to build in the pay raise, see’s Donald handed a $40m increase in what he would earn over the final three years of his deal.

In doing so, he becomes the first non-quarterback in NFL history to earn over the $30m mark per season.

A significant chunk of that cash is now guaranteed on each of the final three years of the deal, addressing the major sticking point of Donald continuing his career in the NFL with the Rams.

The contract is also structured to allow the defensive superstar to have the choice to retire at the end of the 2023 season or return for the 2024 season for an additional $30m in guaranteed money.

“One Of One”

As expected, the newly-married Rams head coach Sean McVay was absolutely thrilled at the news that Donald had agreed terms on an improved deal.

“He’s earned it,” said the coach in a radio interview.

“He truly is one of one in my opinion. Means so much to me, to our organization. I think the respect that he’s garnered from around this league from guys that have done it at such a high level. What he’s accomplished through his eight years is unparalleled.”

McVay admitted that the team had “wanted to be able to find a solution to getting him taken care of,” and that he felt positing that talks were “trending in the right direction,” after Donald attended McVay’s wedding at the weekend.

That delight is understandable given that Donald has been Defensive Player Of The Year on three occasions, was the Defensive Rookie Of The Year in his first season and has been elected to the Pro Bowl in each of his eight years as a pro, the last seven of which he was first team All-Pro.

Oh and there’s the small matter of a Super Bowl ring too, in which he played a key part in the Rams defeat of the Cincinnati Bengals back in February.

What Makes Donald So Special?

For all his achievements in the game, it is not so much what he has won that has

INGLEWOOD, CALIFORNIA – FEBRUARY 13: Joe Burrow #9 of the Cincinnati Bengals is sacked by Aaron Donald #99 of the Los Angeles Rams in the fourth quarter during Super Bowl LVI at SoFi Stadium on February 13, 2022 in Inglewood, California. (Photo by Rob Carr/Getty Images)

made Donald so special and rated by many as the best football player in the NFL at present.

It is the stats that have propelled him to that recognition and reward.

Over the last five years, he has had more than 100 successful pass rushes more than any other player in the NFL, and Donald has been the player that is most consistently double or even triple-teamed by opposing offenses.

He played a significant role in the Rams Super Bowl victory, recording nine successful pass rushes, two sacks and of course, was key in the final Bengals drive when his pressuring the QB forced a sack to turn the ball over back to the Rams, confirming their Super Bowl success.

The Rams have made it clear that they want to make another run at a Super Bowl this coming season and having Donald back to lead their defense, especially now one that will be without Von Miller, is going to be a huge part of that process.

“I’m locked back in. Let’s go get us another ring. Why not?” Donald said in a video posted by the Rams after he had signed his new deal.

With Donald chasing down opposing QB’s and backs, the chances of the Rams doing precisely that, and becoming the first team since the Patriots in 2003 and 2004 to win successive Super Bowls, increased markedly.

Odds Shorten On Rams After News

With Donald now signed up for at least another year, the odds on the Rams repeating their success this year have come in with the Rams now +1000 alongside the Green Bay Packers with PointsBet Sportsbook.

The Buffalo Bills remain the Super Bowl favorites at +700, ahead of the Tampa Bay Buccaneers at +750 and the Kansas City Chiefs at +900, all of whom are shorter priced options than the Rams and Packers.

And given yesterday’s news from Los Angeles, there will be more than a few Rams fans keen to take that price on their team landing back-to-back Super Bowl wins.

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