Aaron Donald wasn’t sure he wanted to stay with Rams after 2016 season

Aaron Donald endured a lot of losing before becoming a Super Bowl champion. His first few seasons with the Rams were frustrating from a team perspective, even if Donald was having success individually.

In his first three seasons, the Rams went 6-10, 7-9 and 4-12, winning a total of 17 games and failing to make the playoffs in all three years. Donald was eligible for an extension before the 2017 season, but after three seasons of losing records, he wasn’t sure he even wanted to stay in Los Angeles.

When his agent brought up the possibility of re-signing with the Rams, Donald didn’t know if he wanted to even consider that.

“My first year in L.A. in 2016 was horrible. It was a bad year. We weren’t a good team. That’s the year Fisher ended up getting fired. Was on ‘Hard Knocks.’ It was an embarrassing year,” Donald said in his recent post-retirement interview. “For an individual year, it was an All-Pro year, Pro Bowl year. But when you accomplish that, not saying you’re not happy and excited about that, but you just want more as a team. You’re not even a competitive team and a team that only wins four or five games, it’s like, what are we doing here? My agent was talking to me like, ‘you’re about to go into your fourth year. Time to start talking about contracts. I’m like, ‘I love the Rams, but I want to win. I want to go somewhere I can win. I don’t know if I even want to try to come back and get a contract with the Rams.’ I just want to win. I’m tired of losing.”

Donald was not happy about the way contract talks went when they finally did begin, feeling disrespected by the whole process. He ended up holding out in 2017, Sean McVay’s first season as the head coach, missing the first game of the regular season because of it.

He felt that if the Rams didn’t want him, they should trade him to another team that did.

“End up holding out, was in Pittsburgh training the whole time,” he said. “That was my first holdout year so for me, it was personal. I was kind of mad at the organization. I’m like, ‘What? Y’all don’t want me? If y’all don’t want me, y’all can get rid of me. Send me somewhere that want me. Please.’ So I was a little mad, a little frustrated about it.”

Donald held out again in 2018 but ended up signing a historic contract to remain with the Rams after an 11-5 season under McVay and making his first playoff appearance. That had him excited about the direction of the Rams, feeling confident in the job McVay did as a head coach.

After 10 seasons with the Rams, Donald said he didn’t want to retire with any other team and he’s happy to have spent his entire career with the same organization.

Story originally appeared on Rams Wire