The eight-time Pro Bowler and seven-time All-Pro was contemplating retirement. But he told reporters on Tuesday that becoming the highest-paid defensive player “wasn’t important” to him in making his decision to continue playing football.
“It’s about other things off the field that was going on in my life that had to get situated,” Donald said, via Kevin Modesti of the Southern California News Group. “Being here with the organization that I’ve been with since day 1, that I grew with and became a world champion with, I’m ready to try to run it back and create that feeling all over again.”
In the aftermath of winning Super Bowl LVI, Donald said that if the Rams were able to bring back key players like edge rusher Von Miller and receiver Odell Beckham Jr., then he would be more inclined to come back as well. Miller ended up signing with the Bills and Beckham remains on the open market as he rehabs a torn ACL.
“I think one of the most important things for me was feeling that the pieces we brought in were still going to give us an opportunity to win another Super Bowl,” Donald said. “I truly believe that we’ve got the pieces here, the players here, the coaches here to make that come to life. We lost some good guys, but we gained some good guys too.”
Donald finished the 2021 regular season with 12.5 sacks, 19 tackles for loss, and 25 quarterback hits. He added 3.5 sacks, four tackles for loss, and nine QB hits in Los Angeles’ four postseason games.