Aaron Donald was linked to retirement rumors and speculation mounted that Sean McVay would jump to TV, but the Super Bowl-winning duo is returning to the Rams for another year. And one would not be there without the other.
“Not at all,” the Rams defensive tackle recently told NFL Network. “Not at all. If Sean ain’t here — I told Sean when he first got here. We came up with some things early and I first told him as long as he’s the head coach here, I want to continue to build my legacy with him.
“As long as he’s here and I got the ability to still play at a high level, I’m going to be here. When he’s gone and it’s all said and done, that probably will be when I’m hanging it up, too.”
Donald, who had 12.5 sacks last season, is certainly nowhere near falling off, and he’s expected to have another big year with the defending champion Rams.
Losing both him and McVay, 36, would have been a blow for Los Angeles, but the Rams can expect to be right back in the mix for the Super Bowl with mostly everyone returning. Donald ultimately signed a restructured contract with $95 million guaranteed through 2024.
“It’s always going to be motivation to do everything you can to get back,” the 31-year-old Donald said. “That’s the ultimate goal. That’s what you work for. When you’re grinding and out here working right now, that’s in the back of your mind. To try to do everything you can to have a great season and try to be the last team standing.”
The Rams will open the season at home against the Bills on Thursday, Sept. 8.