Ex-Rams DT Aaron Donald on Retirement: “Passion to Play The Game is No Longer There for Me”

Los Angeles Rams defensive end Aaron Donald (99) celebrates win at Super Bowl LVI.
Los Angeles Rams defensive end Aaron Donald (99) celebrates the win at Super Bowl LVI. Photo by Robert Gauthier/Los Angeles Times/Shutterstock (12804041d)

Former the Los Angeles Rams defensive tackle Aaron Donald provided more insights into his decision to retire from the NFL in a recent interview with ESPN. According to Donald, he no longer has a “passion to play the game”.

Donald had flirted with retirement for several years now, but it was still surprising to see him make that decision, considering he remained one of the top defensive players in the league. In 2023, he made 53 tackles, including 16 tackles for loss, and 8.0 sacks while making his 10th Pro Bowl appearance.

“I think the passion to play the game is no longer there for me,” Donald told ESPN. “I will always love football, but to think about going through another camp and another 17-[game] season, I just don’t got the urge to want to push myself to do that no more.”

Donald retired with a resume that guarantees he’ll become a first-ballot Hall of Famer. Aside from receiving a Pro Bowl nod in each of his seasons as a pro, he also won the Defensive Player of the Year Award three times and earned First-team All-Pro selection eight times. His 111.0 career sacks are the most in the Rams’ franchise history.

“I accomplished everything and more than I even thought was possible,” Donald added.

I am a reality TV junkie. My dream since I was a kid was to be on Big Brother, but until then you can catch me binge-watching episodes each summer.