Aaron Donald announces his retirement after a standout 10-year career with the Rams

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Aaron Donald spent 10 years flattening quarterbacks, crushing ball-carriers, fighting through perpetual double-teams and generally wrecking NFL offenses. He was relentless, reliable and infinitely resourceful while he led the Los Angeles Rams all the way to a Super Bowl championship.

And on Friday, Donald decided a decade of dominance was enough.

The most accomplished defensive lineman of his generation has retired after a stellar 10-year career.

The three-time AP NFL Defensive Player of the Year made his somewhat surprising announcement on social media. He doesn’t plan to have a retirement news conference or any public farewell, but his impact on the Rams and the NFL is already indelible.

The 32-year-old Donald spent his entire career with the Rams, who drafted him in the first round in 2014 out of Pitt. The Pittsburgh native was selected for 10 Pro Bowls and eight All-Pro first teams, and he won the award as the league’s top defensive player in 2017, 2018 and 2020.

“Throughout my career, I have given my everything to football both mentally and physically — 365 days a year was dedicated to becoming the best possible player I could be,” Donald said in a statement. “I respected this game like no other, and I’m blessed to be able to conclude my NFL career with the same franchise that drafted me. Not many people get drafted to a team, win a world championship with that team and retire with that team. I do not, and will not, take that for granted.”

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