Los Angeles Rams defensive lineman Aaron Donald holds up the Vince Lombardi Super Bowl trophy during the team’s victory celebration and parade in Los Angeles, Wednesday, Feb. 16, 2022. Defensive lineman Aaron Donald has announced his retirement after a standout 10-year career with the Los Angeles Rams. The three-time AP NFL Defensive Player of the Year made his surprising announcement on social media Friday, March 15, 2024. (AP Photo/Marcio Jose Sanchez)

After 10 years with the Rams franchise, 10-time Pro-Bowl defensive tackle Aaron Donald called it a career. His ability to dismantle offensive lines and disrupt quarterbacks helped the Rams make history.

In reaching Super Bowl LVI, the Los Angeles Rams committed a rare feat. This became the second time in history that the team of a Super Bowl host city reached the Super Bowl. Their 23-20 win over the Cincinnati Bengals would give Los Angeles its first Super Bowl title since 1984.

Donald and the Rams’ defensive line was a key example of how defense wins championships. He made a postseason-high of two sacks, causing Bengals quarterback Joe Burrow to lose a combined total of 10 yards. This forced Cincinnati to kick a field goal although they had reached the Rams’ red zone.

Donald contributed to a defensive line that held the Bengals scoreless for the fourth quarter, allowing the Rams to secure a come-from-behind victory. Donald made 3.5 sacks and 13 total tackles that postseason.

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Donald (99) was drafted 13th overall by the then St. Louis Rams in 2014 (Robert Torrence/L.A. Sentinel)

The 2022 NFC championship was also a home game for the Rams as they defeated the San Francisco 49ers 20-17. A field goal gave the Rams a lead with 1:46 left in regulation. Donald pressured then 49ers quarterback Jimmy Garoppolo on a third down causing him to throw an interception.

After the play, Donald did his iconic “ring me” celebration.

Late that season, the Rams went on a five-game winning streak where they held all of their opponents to under 25 points.

Donald (99) made 111 sacks in his career (Robert Torrence/L.A. Sentinel)

A highlight of the streak was the Rams’ 30-23 win over the Arizona Cardinals; Donald committed a season-high of three sacks in the matchup. Another highlight was their 30-23 win over the Minnesota Vikings when Donald committed three stuffs, one sack and five solo tackles.

His efforts earned him December NFC Defensive Player of the Month honors.

During the 2021 season, Donald made 12.5 sacks for a loss of 111 yards; he was fifth in the NFL in sack yards. His 19 tackles for loss tied him with former teammate Von Miller at fourth in the League for that category.

While the Pittsburg native was impactful during the Super Bowl LVI run, Donald was iconic in 2018 when the Rams were heading to Super Bowl LIII. During that season, Donald made 20.5 in-season sacks. He loaded the stat line during the Rams 39-10 victory over the 49ers with four sacks, eight solo tackles, a forced fumble and fumble recovery.

Donald (99) is a 10x Pro Bowler (Robert Torrence/L.A. Sentinel)

That season, Donald led the league in sacks, sack yards (184) and tackles for loss (30). He broke the record for most sacks by a defensive tackle in a single season.

Since he was drafted 13th overall in the 2014 NFL Draft, he made an impact on the franchise. His 37 solo tackles, nine sacks and two forced fumble earned him NFL Defensive Rookie of the Year.

While being a dominant force on the field, Donald contributed to the community both in Los Angeles and his hometown in Pittsburg. While participating in community outreach efforts for the Rams, he also started AD99 Solutions in 2019 to provide various resources to disenfranchised youth.

In 2021, Donald (right) made a career-high of 84 total tackles (Robert Torrence/L.A. Sentinel)

In the 154 games that he played, Donald made 337 solo tackles, 111 sacks, 24 forced fumbles with seven recoveries, and 21 pass defenses.

His accolades include being a three-time NFL Defensive Player of the Year and the 2018 Deacon Jones Award. He has an eight-time All-Pro First Team honoree and an NFL 2010s All-Decade Team.

Much like the late great Kobe Bryant, Donald is a Pennsylvania native who had a legendary pro career in Los Angeles.

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