Rams legend Aaron Donald: Passion to play in NFL ‘no longer there for me’

Aaron Donald of the Los Angeles Rams explained why he retired, while still in his prime, after 10 years in the NFL.

In a short video on social media captioned “coming soon,” Donald gave a brief explanation why he decided it was time.

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


Aaron Donald of the Los Angeles Rams before an NFC wild-card playoff game against the Detroit Lions at Ford Field Jan. 14, 2024, in Detroit. (Ryan Kang/Getty Images)

“If anything, the best way to say it is I’m full. I’m complete. I’m satisfied what I was able to do in 10 years. I think it’s time for me, at 32 years old, to retire from football and jump into the next step of my career and my life. It’s time to move on.”

Donald began the video by reading off his achievements, which will put him in the Pro Football Hall of Fame when he’s eligible in five years.


“Ten Pro Bowls, eight All-Pros, three Defensive Player of the Years, Rookie of the Year. Two NFC championships, three NFC West championships. Went to two Super Bowls – won one, lost one,” he said.


“I’m complete. I’m full.”

Aaron Donald of the Los Angeles Rams after a game against the Seattle Seahawks at Lumen Field Sept. 10, 2023, in Seattle. (Alika Jenner/Getty Images)

Donald had been rumored to be considering retirement while still clearly being in his prime, but when he made the announcement, it still came as a surprise.

Donald, 32, told his head coach, Sean McVay, the same thing, saying “I’m full.”

“I’m just like, ‘And you should be. You have every right to feel that way.’ What an amazing thing,” McVay said. “The words won’t do justice to the way that he so eloquently articulated it to me and just put it in a way that, as a human being, all you’re really looking for is to be at peace and to be happy. He was full. And, man, did you feel that. You’re just so happy because he earned it too.”

Los Angeles Rams defensive tackle Aaron Donald walks off the field at the conclusion of an NFC wild-card playoff game against the Detroit Lions Jan. 14, 2024, at Ford Field in Detroit.  (Scott W. Grau/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images)

Donald has 111 sacks for his career, tied for 40th all time with Randy White. He also had 543 tackles.

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Scott Thompson is a sports writer for Fox News Digital.

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