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Aaron Donald: Inside His Record-breaking Contract with the Rams

Last Updated: August 2, 2023
Breaking down this week’s eye-popping Aaron Donald contract from his restructure and extension with the defending Super Bowl champs

Chiefs quarterback Patrick Mahomes owns a 10-year, $450 million deal, the biggest contract in the history of North American team sports by total value. During the current offseason, several other QBs signed breakthrough deals of their own. And while this week’s latest news isn’t about to dethrone Mahomes from his NFL salary throne, the brand-new Aaron Donald contract with the Super Bowl champion Los Angeles Rams sends a jolt straight to the top of the salary record books for defensive players — and by some measures, all non-quarterbacks in general.

Technically, it’s a restructure. Effectively, it takes the form of a contract extension. All told, his deal is for three years and $95 million.

Let’s dive into the details, including guaranteed money, potential opt-outs, behind the Rams’ Aaron Donald contract, as well as where the superstar’s career salary earnings stand on the NFL’s all-time list.

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Aaron Donald Contract Details & Salary

All dollar figures via Spotrac.

Years: 3
Total value: $95,000,000
Average annual value: $31,500,000
Guaranteed at signing: $46,500,000
Total guaranteed money: $95,000,000
Free agency: 2025

2022 salary: $31,500,000
2023 salary: $28,500,000
2024 salary: $35,000,000

Notably, under the terms of his previous contract — six years, $135,000,000 — Donald was already set to hit free agency in 2025, so there’s not a whole lot of complicated math that’s gone into this. The Rams have overwritten the back half of the monstrous defensive tackle’s deal to the tune of $40 million in new money over these next three seasons.

The contract includes a potential out after the 2023 season, after which Donald will have made $60,000,000 with another $35,000,000 due if he serves out his contract year in ’24.

Aaron Donald’s Career Earnings

Salary data via Spotrac.

TOTAL SALARY EARNINGS THRU 2021 SEASON$97,114,238 (No. 20 all-time among defensive players)


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About The Author
Sam Dunn
Sam Dunn
Sam Dunn is the Managing Editor of Boardroom. Before joining the team, he was an editor and multimedia talent for several sports and culture verticals at Minute Media and an editor, reporter, and site manager at SB Nation. A specialist in content strategy, copywriting, and SEO, he has additionally worked as a digital consultant in the corporate services, retail, and tech industries. He cannot be expected to be impartial on any matter regarding the Florida Gators or Atlanta Braves. Follow him on Twitter @RealFakeSamDunn.