All-Pro defensive tackle Aaron Donald is returning to the Los Angeles Rams with a big raise that will make him the highest-paid non-quarterback in the NFL.
The Rams reworked Donald’s deal to give him a $40 million raise over the last three years of his existing contract, sources told ESPN’s Adam Schefter, making him the first non-quarterback to eclipse $30 million per season. The reworked deal brings the total value of Donald’s contract to $95 million over three years.
The deal includes $65 million guaranteed in the first two years of the contract and is structured in such a way that Donald can either retire or return for the 2024 season for an additional $30 million guaranteed, sources told Schefter.
The reworked contract includes a no-trade clause, a source told ESPN’s Jeremy Fowler.
Donald, 31, was taking his physical and is expected to sign the contract later Monday, sources told Schefter. The Rams begin their mandatory minicamp Tuesday.
Donald had indicated on the “I Am Athlete” podcast last week that his return for the 2022 season was contingent on getting a new deal and that he would be “at peace” with his career if an agreement couldn’t be reached.
The three-time Defensive Player of the Year sealed the Rams’ victory over the Cincinnati Bengals in Super Bowl LVI when he pressured quarterback Joe Burrow into an errant throw on fourth down late in the fourth quarter.
Donald had 12.5 sacks in the regular season and then followed that up with 3.5 more in the playoffs during the Rams’ run to the Super Bowl championship.
In eight seasons, Donald has 98 sacks. He has six seasons with at least 10 sacks — the second most by a primary interior lineman since sacks became official in 1982, trailing only John Randle, who had nine such seasons.
He has been selected to the Pro Bowl in each of his NFL seasons and has been a first-time All-Pro selection seven times. He is one of three defensive players since the 1970 merger to earn a Pro Bowl selection in each of their first eight NFL seasons, alongside Hall of Famers Lawrence Taylor (10) and Derrick Thomas (9).
ESPN Stats & Information contributed to this report.
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