Legendary Los Angeles Rams defensive lineman Aaron Donald recently announced his retirement from the NFL after 10 years playing at an elite professional level. The Super Bowl champion shocked football fans across the country when he announced his departure from the league during the 2024 off-season. Per CBS Sports, Donald explained “I’m burnt out, if anything. The best way to say it is that I’m full. I’m complete. I’m satisfied with what I was able to do in 10 years. I think it’s time for me, at 32-years-old, to retire from football and jump into the next step of my career and my life.” While there are no confirmed reports of Donald’s post-NFL plans, many fans will surely follow along with the former defensive player to see where he goes next.

During his decade-long tenure with the NFL, Aaron Donald managed to make quite a name for himself, securing generational wealth and amassing an estimated net worth of $60 million. His financial security came from an extremely lucrative contract, as well as a well-diversified investment portfolio, and a handful of other prudent investments. Here’s a look at how the former defensive lineman managed to secure his impressive net worth.

Aaron Donald’s All-American Success Story

(Photo Credit: Ryan Kang/Getty Images)

Long before Aaron Donald became a Los Angeles Rams icon, he was born one of three children into a working-class Pittsburgh family. Donald has described himself as a lazy child in the past, though he began to see the merit of hard work and dedication after his father built a home gym in the family basement. Aaron’s father, Archie Donald, was a legendary home-town hero in his own right, who played football in college before a knee injury forced him to retire. Throughout his childhood, Aaron Donald and his older brother, Archie Jr. would dream of joining the NFL and making enough money to support their parents’ retirement.

To achieve this goal, Aaron Donald began voraciously working out alongside his father at the age of 12, and quickly became a high school football star. Donald was selected first-team All-State Class AAAA in both his Junior and Senior year, before receiving a number of college scholarship offers. Aaron Donald’s on-the-field success continued into his career at the University of Pittsburgh, where he was named ACC Defensive Player of the Year, and selected as a unanimous All-American. Before long, the impressive young talent was chosen as a first-round draft pick in the 2014 season for the St. Louis Rams, where he remained until his retirement this year.

Donald’s NFL Contracts

Most of Aaron Donald’s $60 million net worth is said to come from his impressive NFL contracts, beginning with his first foray into the league in 2014. When he was first signed to the Rams, Aaron Donald was offered a four-year, fully guaranteed $10 million contract, which included a massive signing bonus of over $5 million, and an option to extend his contract into a fifth year. While these figures are surely blinding to many sports fans, this contract would pale in comparison to those signed by the Defensive Tackle in the following years.

In 2018, Aaron Donald inked his largest contract yet, in the form of a $135 million six-year renewal. At the time, this bid made Donald the highest-paid defensive player in the history of the NFL. The former football star also received an estimated $500,000 per year for endorsement deals, partnering with brands such as Hulu, Pepsi, Hyundai, and more. According to insider reports, it is speculated that the 32-year-old earned over $157 million over the course of his 10 seasons with the NFL, accounting for his salary, endorsements, and subtracting several hefty fines accrued over the years for missing games during a brief contract dispute in 2017.

Donald’s Real Estate Ventures

Like most financially secure individuals, Aaron Donald has placed a sizable portion of his wealth into real estate. After marrying former Rams marketing agent Erica Sherman, Donald purchased a lavish Calabasas mansion for $4.7 million. 3 years after buying the home, the couple listed the property for sale at an increased price of $6.25 million. Donald is said to have other small stakes in real estate ventures, though no other purchase records have been made public in his name. Still, at this point in the NFL star’s career, he could easily live anywhere he pleases, and have plenty of cash leftover to continue investing.

What Does The Future Hold For Number 99?

(Photo by Ryan Kang/Getty Images)

While Aaron Donald’s 10 years with the NFL seem to be a major success story, and a huge inspiration to up-and-coming players of all creeds, many fans and players alike are wondering what’s next for the former Defensive Lineman. Donald’s stated interest in finding the next step in his career suggests that he isn’t content to spend the remainder of his days fully retired and sitting in a rocking chair, meaning the baller may have a future as a sports pundit, media personality or even an NFL coach. For now, anything seems possible, and fans will have to stay tuned in to Aaron Donald’s updates to learn more.