LA Rams We-not-me? Run it back rings awfully hollow right now

(Photo by Patrick T. FALLON / AFP) (Photo by PATRICK T. FALLON/AFP via Getty Images)
(Photo by Patrick T. FALLON / AFP) (Photo by PATRICK T. FALLON/AFP via Getty Images) /
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LA Rams News Aaron Donald
Mandatory Credit: Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports /

No Aaron Donald in the 100 Highest-Paid Athletes

The 2022 annual list of the highest-paid athletes in the world was published after the LA Rams won Super Bowl LVI. Forbes magazine publishes the Top-50, while Sportico doubles that list and names the Top-100 Highest-Paid Athletes in the World.

We even covered that release, as LA Rams quarterback Matthew Stafford was named on that list as the highest-paid NFL athlete and as the 11th highest-paid athlete in the world for 2022. Of course, the list covered the cash basis for athletes. So any signing bonus showed up in full, while the NFL accounting practice spreads the value of bonuses over the life of the contract.

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Two Rams make the list. Aaron Donald isn’t one of them

Two LA Rams showed up on that list. Stafford, and newly signed wide receiver Allen Robinson, who showed up as the 77th highest-paid athlete in 2022 with a total compensation package of $32.4 million. The cutoff for the Top-100 Highest-Paid Athletes for 2022 came in at $28.6 million.

So why wasn’t Aaron Donald on that list? Well, on a pure cash basis, Donald is due for just $14,250,000 this year. But because he had been paid bonuses when he signed in 2018, the salary cap hit for Aaron Donald in 2022 is $26,750,00.

To put Donald into the Top-25 on the Highest-Paid Athletes list, he will likely be looking at $35 million per year.  Of course, that’s a lot of benjamins for one player, and putting that stack of cash into the pocket of one defensive lineman would take Donald and the LA Rams completely out of the running to repeat as Super Bowl competitors. So I don’t think that is quite it.