Los Angeles Rams defensive tackle Aaron Donald is still weighing on retirement. Before the Super Bowl LVI against the Cincinnati Bengals, Donald had an informal conversation with NBC’s Rodney Harrison in which Donald called it “personal” and said “Honestly, you never know. This could be my last year.”
While it was later confirmed to be untrue, it turned out Harisson’s report was not entirely inaccurate. While it is shocking for some people to see Donald back away from the field at the age of 30, Rams coach Sean McVay can understand what he feels.
Donald on Rodney Harrison
Super Bowl NBC commentator, Harrison stated “[Aaron Donald] doesn’t want to be known as a defender that accomplished so many individual things and never won a Super Bowl. But he also told me this: If he wins a Super Bowl, there’s a strong possibility he could walk away from the game and retire.”
And that is when the retirement news cycle started.
Understandably, the Super Bowl Champion does not seem to be thrilled about Harrison’s doing. Donald admitted to Greg Bishop of Sports Illustrated that he did not expect Harrison to do so. Had Harrison not started this, no one would have asked the three-time NFL Defensive Player of the Year about his future in the NFL.
Meanwhile, after the Rams’ winning parade, McVay contributed to the rumors being false and confirmed in front of the audience that they will “run it back” in 2022.
While holding the Lombardi Trophy, Donald stood up and responded to McVay, “We built a superteam. We bring a superteam back, why not run it back? We can be world champions (again)!”, as the crowds went louder in a video.
Despite Donald’s convincing speech, the 2014 NFL Defensive Rookie of the Year turned out to be still considering retirement due to his kids growing up. Wanting to be able to spend more time with them, apparently, sports fans and the Rams will miss his presence. However, Rams head coach, McVay, can understand his situation.
McVay on Donald’s retirement story
Donald admitted that his true reason for considering retirement is his children.
“I’m thinking about my kids, first, always,” Donald told Bishop. “People who know me understand why. If my kids’ situation is not in order, my world is not in order. Honestly, it has always been about [them].”
Donald lives with his wife, Erica, and his six-month-old son, Aaric, in Southern California during game season. His other two kids, Jaeda and Aaron Jr., live in Pittsburgh most of the year. The seven-time First-team All-Pro got to visit them by flying back and forth from LA to Pittsburgh.
Similar to McVay who seems to be very understanding of Donald’s situation, McVay was once put on a retirement issue as well following his plan to get married soon.
McVay who “had a dream about being able to be a father” and not being able to “predict the future” witnessed “What it takes” for Donald to be able to give more time with his family. At some point, if Donald decided what he wants to decide, McVay will understand completely.