Aaron Donald Potentially Retiring – Assessing the Rams’ Odds for 2022

| June 2, 2022 6:14 am PDT

The Los Angeles Rams won their second Super Bowl in franchise history last season. They defeated the Cincinnati Bengals 23-20, with Cooper Kupp winning MVP.

The championship was the final piece of Aaron Donald’s resume. Many people believe Donald is the greatest defensive player in NFL history. Now that he has his ring, there have been talks about retirement.

Donald is 31 years old, so he has time to win more Super Bowls. However, he could see this as an opportunity to walk away at the top of his game.

Why Would Aaron Donald Retire?

Aaron Donald’s accomplishments outweigh most defensive players in NFL history. Donald is a three-time Defensive Player of the Year, seven-time member of the All-Pro first-team, and eight-time Pro Bowler.

He finished off his legacy with a Super Bowl title. Donald had a case to win Super Bowl MVP, but the championship itself will suffice.

The 31-year-old would like a new deal with the Los Angeles Rams. He signed a six-year, $135 million extension ahead of the 2018 season. That deal runs through the 2024 season, but Donald wants a new contract.

Over the last four years, five players have surpassed Donald’s average salary.

  • T.J. Watt: $28 million
  • Joey Bosa: $27 million
  • Myles Garrett: $25 million
  • Maxx Crosby: $23.5 million
  • Khalil Mack: $23.5 million

T.J. Watt, Joey Bosa, and Myles Garrett are great players. However, Donald’s next contract should surpass $28 million. I can’t imagine he’ll settle for anything less.

And why would he? Donald has at least 11 sacks in five straight seasons. He recorded two sacks in the Super Bowl and wrapped up Joe Burrow on a fourth down that sealed the victory for Los Angeles.

It sounds like Donald would retire if he and the Rams failed to reach a new deal. Donald has stated that he’d be “at peace” with that decision. There’s no doubt it would put a damper on the Rams’ ability to repeat as Super Bowl champions.

How Would Donald’s Retirement Affect the Rams’ 2022 Odds?

  • NFC West Odds: +125
  • NFC Conference Winner Odds: +450
  • Super Bowl 57 Odds: +1000

The Los Angeles Rams open as the favorite to win the NFC West, but the Tampa Bay Buccaneers have the best chance to represent the NFC in the Super Bowl. Tampa Bay and the Buffalo Bills are the only two teams with better Super Bowl odds.

Los Angeles has plenty of big names that played a significant role in winning the Super Bowl. Cooper Kupp won the receiving triple crown, while Matthew Stafford passed for 4,881 yards and 41 touchdowns.

Even so, no one impacts the game like Aaron Donald. Teams will double and triple-team him, giving other players one-on-one opportunities. Los Angeles wouldn’t have that luxury if Donald retired.

Check out his numbers in the 2022 postseason.

  • Wild Card Round: 1 tackle and 0.5 sacks
  • Divisional Round: 5 tackles and 1 sack
  • NFC Championship Game: 3 tackles
  • Super Bowl: 4 tackles and 2 sacks

I believe the Rams would remain the favorite to win the NFC West, but the San Francisco 49ers would close the gap. The NFC isn’t too imposing this season, so their Super Bowl odds would likely take the biggest hit.

The Los Angeles Chargers have the next highest odds at (+1400). Los Angeles likely drops to the (+1200) to (+1400) range without Donald. They’d still be a contender, but not overpowering like last season.

Will Aaron Donald Retire Before the 2022 Season?

The free agency period and NFL draft are well in the rearview. Typically, there isn’t much happening with the NFL offseason. Therefore, this should be a big storyline for the next two months.

Ultimately, I believe the Rams will make Aaron Donald the highest-paid defensive player in NFL history. They’ve been going all-in for years, trading multiple first-round picks. Why not go all-in with this contract?

Donald has shown no signs of slowing down. The 31-year-old will play a significant role in the Rams’ quest for back-to-back Super Bowl titles.

Feel free to check out our sports news page for more betting information.

Nicholas Sterling
Nicholas Sterling

Nicholas has been a Sports Writer with GamblingSites.com since May 2021. He has a rich sports background, writing about NASCAR, NFL, NBA, MLB, NHL, Golf, etc. Nick is always ready for a new challenge.

He enjoys rooting on D.C. sports teams, including the Commanders, Wizards, and Capitals.

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