Rams' Aaron Donald, 3-time DPOY, retiring from NFL at age 32

LOS ANGELES -- Rams defensive tackle Aaron Donald announced his retirement Friday after 10 dominant seasons.

In those 10 seasons, Donald was a three-time Defensive Player of the Year, an eight-time first-team All-Pro, a 10-time Pro Bowl selection and the 2014 Defensive Rookie of the Year.

He finished his career with 111 sacks, the second-most among primary defensive tackles in a career (behind John Randle's 137.5) since individual sacks became an official statistic in 1982. He holds the Rams' franchise record for career sacks.

"Throughout my career, I have given my everything to football both mentally and physically -- 365 days a year was dedicated to becoming the best possible player I could be," Donald said on social media. "I respected this game like no other and I'm blessed to be able to conclude my NFL career with the same franchise that drafted me. Not many people get drafted to a team, win a World Championship with that team and retire with that team. I do not, and will not, take that for granted."

He is one of three players to win the Defensive Player of the Year award three times, along with Hall of Famer Lawrence Taylor and J.J. Watt. The award was first given out in 1971.

According to ESPN Stats & Information, Donald is one of two defensive players since the 1970 AFL-NFL merger to earn a Pro Bowl selection in each of their first 10 NFL seasons, alongside Hall of Famer Lawrence Taylor (10).

Donald, 32, and Barry Sanders are the only players in NFL history to play 10 seasons and get selected to the Pro Bowl in each season, according to the Elias Sports Bureau. Sanders also played exactly 10 seasons, retiring in 1998.

"The great players in our league elevate the people around them and Aaron has modeled the way for our team as long as I've been with the Rams," coach Sean McVay said in a statement. "He's an elite competitor, someone who leads by example in a way that's authentic to him, and an exceptional teammate who inspires everyone around him to be the best version of themselves.

"As great of a player he is, he's an even better person. He is truly one of one and epitomizes everything that's right about sports. I will forever cherish the memories we've made and will always be grateful for how he poured everything into this game and into our team. He's meant a lot to me personally and to my family."

In June 2022, Donald and the Rams agreed to a reworked contract that made him the highest-paid non-quarterback in the NFL at the time. This week, the Rams restructured Donald's contract to save about $9.19 million in salary cap space in 2024.

Over the past five years, the NFL average pass rush win rate against a single pass-blocker was 17% for a qualified rusher. Donald posted an 18% pass rush win rate against double-teams in that span, making him better against two pass-blockers than the average pass-rusher was against one over the past five years.

"We are so grateful for Aaron's dedication to greatness and for leading our franchise on and off the field for the past decade," Rams owner Stan Kroenke said in a statement. "He has left his mark on generations of football fans and his accomplishments, coupled with his work ethic and passion, continue to inspire his teammates, coaches and athletes across the globe. It is a privilege to have witnessed one of the greatest players of all time and we are proud that Aaron Donald will forever be part of NFL history as a member of the Rams."