Aaron Donald’s $40 million raise wasn’t enough, NFL legend says

Aaron Donald’s $40 million raise wasn’t enough, NFL legend says

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As the NFL’s all-time leading sack getter, Bruce Smith knows a thing or two about getting to the quarterback.

He also knows an elite player when he sees one — one that deserves to be paid and then some. Enter the Rams’ Aaron Donald, who had his contract re-worked and is set to make $95 million over the next three seasons. Donald is now the highest-paid non-quarterback in NFL history, which Smith says, isn’t even enough.

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Defensive end Aaron Donald #99 of the Los Angeles Rams warms up against the Seattle Seahawks at Lumen Field on October 07, 2021 in Seattle, Washington.

Defensive end Aaron Donald #99 of the Los Angeles Rams warms up against the Seattle Seahawks at Lumen Field on October 07, 2021 in Seattle, Washington. (Steph Chambers/Getty Images)

“Aaron Donald deserves that and more,” Smith said, via TMZ Sports. “He’s worth every penny he’s being paid.”

Regarded as one of the greatest players of all time after racking up 200.0 sacks during his 19-year career, Smith said that Donald should already be in the conversation as the greatest defensive player of all-time after just eight seasons.

Bruce Smith #78 of the Buffalo Bills rushes a New England Patriot  opponent in a NFL football game at Foxboro Stadium in Foxboro, Massachusetts.

Bruce Smith #78 of the Buffalo Bills rushes a New England Patriot  opponent in a NFL football game at Foxboro Stadium in Foxboro, Massachusetts. (Focus on Sport/Getty Images)

Donald, 31, has logged 98.0 sacks, 23 forced fumbles, 226 quarterback hits and has been named to the Pro Bowl in each of his eight seasons. Hall of Famers Lawrence Taylor (10) and Derrick Thomas (9) are the only players to earn a Pro Bowl selection in each of their first eight seasons. Donald has been named the AP Defensive Player of the Year three times (2017, 2018, 2020) and won his first Super Bowl with the Rams this past season.

Aaron Donald #99 of the Los Angeles Rams looks on during mini camp on June 8, 2022 at the team's facility at California Lutheran University in Thousand Oaks, California.

Aaron Donald #99 of the Los Angeles Rams looks on during mini camp on June 8, 2022 at the team’s facility at California Lutheran University in Thousand Oaks, California. (Jayne Kamin-Oncea/Getty Images)

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“Aaron has proved that time and time and time again,” Smith said. “His ability to take over a game and single-handedly will his team to a victory has just been remarkable to watch.”

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