The Aaron Donald interview that will change the way you see football

Los Angeles Rams Aaron Donald
Los Angeles Rams Aaron Donald / Thearon W. Henderson/GettyImages
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What is it inside of a man that tells him when it's time to slow down? What inner voice tells a man who has dedicated himself to become the best version of his competitive self that he has done enough, that it's time to veer off from the known and pursue other interests, other options? For LA Rams All-Pro defensive lineman Aaron Donald, that time is now.

Whether or not you can relate to his decision to hang up his football cleats after high school, college, and ten seasons in the NFL, I most certainly can. I served in the US Air Force for ten years, and then opted to claim my honorable discharge and start a new chapter of my life. For me, my new chapter of life began at the age of 31. For Aaron Donald, his new chapter of life begins at the age of 32.

Some believe that Aaron Donald has chosen to retire from the NFL because he no longer believed in the Rams ability to compete. Somehow, they have argued on social media that he has grown disenchanted with a team that continues to seek and commit to helping him out in the trenches, but fails to deliver. But I'm not sure that is close to what the facts are right now.

The Rams front office has ensured that Donald was always a priority. Whether it was negotiating to optimize his contract to ensure he remain atop the highest paid non-quarterbacks in the NFL, or simply affording him input as to who coached him and who lined up next to him, the team included him in nearly every step of the way.

Aaron Donald was never the type of player who was not in charge of his NFL career. He was not the type to be led blindly. He demanded to know the plan, and he had earned that right. He dedicated himself to being the best football player possible and earned the right to ensure that the team, the coaches, and the players who surrounded him were of that same mindset.