Aaron Donald should be 9th Rams player to have his number retired

The Los Angeles Rams don’t make a habit of retiring players’ numbers despite having many greats wear the horns over the franchise’s history. A grand total of only eight players have had their jersey numbers retired by the Rams, which isn’t a very large number when you consider how many Hall of Famers have played for the organization.

Those players are Bob Waterfield, Marshall Faulk, Eric Dickerson, Merlin Olsen, Deacon Jones, Jackie Slater, Isaac Bruce and Jack Youngblood, with Bruce being ‘the most recent player to have his number retired (2010).

Three of the all-time great defensive linemen have had their numbers retired by the Rams – Olsen, Jones and Youngblood – and there should be a fourth added to the group.

Aaron Donald should be the next player whose number gets retired by the Rams. This isn’t to say they have to do it next year or the year after that, but no one should ever wear No. 99 again as a member of the Rams.

You could make the case that Donald is the greatest player in franchise history. His 176 tackles for a loss are nearly double the next-closest player (89, Leonard Little), his 111 sacks are 22.5 more than anyone else and his 260 quarterback hits are more than double Robert Quinn’s 108, which is second in franchise history.

Granted, sacks didn’t become an official stat until 1982, but based on Pro Football Reference’s unofficial numbers, only Deacon Jones (159.5) and Jack Youngblood (151.5) had more than Donald in their careers, and both of them were defensive ends. Donald was a defensive tackle who got double-teamed on seemingly more than half of his snaps played.

It’s hard to measure the impact Donald had on a weekly basis but one thing’s for sure: There will never be another player like him. There also shouldn’t be another player to wear his No. 99 jersey.

The Rams haven’t retired Orlando Pace’s number, nor have they retired Kurt Warner’s or Torry Holt’s. Assuming they don’t have plans to do so, Donald should be the next player to have his number retired by the Rams.

Story originally appeared on Rams Wire