The Rams’ new Aaron Donald contract is effectively a $40 million raise over the next three NFL seasons. (Ronald Martinez/Getty Images)
PLAYER CONTRACTS PLAYERS & TEAM EARNINGS

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

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, Donald’s deal is for three years and $95,000,000.

Let’s dive into the details, including guaranteed money, potential opt-outs, and where Donald’s salary earnings total is headed 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.

CAREER BASE SALARY: $33,336,500
CAREER SIGNING BONUSES: $45,692,000
OTHER BONUSES/INCENTIVES: $18,085,738
TOTAL SALARY EARNINGS THRU 2021 SEASON$97,114,238 (No. 20 all-time among defensive players)

ESTIMATED SALARY EARNINGS THRU 2025 SEASON: $192,114,238

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