Ram's Aaron Donald talks possibility of retirement, signs with Kanye's sports agency

Victoria Hernandez
USA TODAY Sports+

Los Angeles Rams defensive tackle Aaron Donald's future on the field is still in question. But the Pro Bowler's off-field business is officially in the hands of Kanye West's Donda Sports agency. 

Donald recently said he was open to retirement if things don't get sorted with the Rams, and now with Donda Sports, he's fully prepared for life after football. He spoke about the state of his contract negotiations on the I Am Athlete podcast.

The future Hall of Famer is under contract through 2024 after signing a six-year, $135 million deal in 2018 — but has no guaranteed money left.

"It ain't about the money. It's a business at the end of the day," he said to former players turned podcast hosts Brandon Marshall, Adam Jones and LeSean McCoy. "For me, it's about winning. I don't want to play football if I can't win anyways. So I feel like if it aligned — and I got a real opportunity to win another Super Bowl — then it makes sense to play, but again, it's still a business."

The Pittsburgh-bred player was selected to the Pro Bowl in each of his eight seasons in the NFL and said retirement talk isn't something new. He explained how the only thing that would motivate him to keep playing is getting another Super Bowl win after he and the Rams captured last year's title.

"I've been saying that since I got into the league, I was going to play eight years and be done," he said. "It just came out now. Everybody thinks, 'Oh, he said if he won a Super Bowl, he gonna retire.' No, I've been talking. I got teammates, coaches, my family know about this. I said I'm a play eight years, then I'll probably be done playing football.

"But at the end of the day, it's still a business and it has got to make sense to me and my family."

Los Angeles Rams defensive end Aaron Donald is introduced before the NFC Championship NFL football game against the San Francisco 49ers Sunday, Jan. 30, 2022, in Inglewood, Calif. (AP Photo/Jed Jacobsohn)

Donald remained positive about the possibility of getting a deal worked out. He said he is on good terms with the team and isn't stressed out about the situation.

"The thing is I don't need to play football to be fine. I'm fine," he said. "I was blessed to play this game, to make the money I made, the accomplishments I made in eight years, it's like I'm complete. If I could win another one, that's great, but if not, I'm at peace."

"I'm at peace any way I go."

Rams coach Sean McVay said in March that Donald told the team he will return and that talks were in the works.

Working with Kanye West's Donda Sports

While veteran agent Todd France is handling negotiations with the Rams, Donald and his wife are excited about their recent deal with Kanye West's Donda Sports, which will handle his marketing and off-the-field ventures.

Donald's wife previously handled the player's marketing.

"It was an opportunity that came to us, me and her, it made sense in hearing the whole spectrum of everything that was going on, what they were going to be bringing, the family atmosphere that they got in Donda Sports," Donald said. "For me, it was a no-brainer, so I think it's a hell of an opportunity to open up a lot of different doors and a lot of different things outside of football that I want to be involved."

More:Odell Beckham Jr. teases fans with cryptic comment on Rams' Instagram post

Related:Andrew Whitworth on potential return to Rams: 'Never say never'

Donald was a guest on set of one of West's recent music videos and said he enjoyed chatting with the megastar artist, but said it wasn't time for him to step into his acting aspirations just yet.

"He actually wanted me to get in one of the videos, but I was like 'nah,'" Donald laughed. "It was out of my element."

West isn't the only hip-hop artist crossing over into sports agency. His previous collaborator Jay Z has been successful with his own group, Roc Nation Sports. Roc Nation's clients include Tampa Bay Buccaneers running back Leonard Fournette, Atlanta Falcons receiver Drake London and Green Bay Packers cornerback Jaire Alexander.

Donda Sports made waves earlier this year after wide receiver Antonio Brown said he was the agency's president and purchased the suite he and West shared to watch the Super Bowl. The agency also reportedly signed NBA star Jaylen Brown, according to TMZ.

"Donda Sports is something that's close to him, obviously with his mother and everything, so he definitely wants this to be something that's top tier and something he's serious about," Donald shared.

For life after football, Donald says he has various business and investment ideas. So hanging up his helmet will be far from the end of his professional journey.