Sean McVay didn’t know Aaron Donald was weighing retirement until after Super Bowl LVI

Just before kickoff, Rodney Harrison dropped a bombshell on NBC’s Super Bowl pregame show. He told the audience that Aaron Donald might retire if the Rams beat the Bengals, sailing off into the sunset as one of the best defensive players ever.

It was hard to believe at the time, but Harrison’s report wasn’t erroneous. He was right, and Donald did consider retirement for a few months after the big game.

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Rams coach Sean McVay had no idea Donald was weighing retirement at the time, not finding that out until after the game. He’s thankful for that because it would’ve added to his already-high stress level coaching in the biggest game of his life.

“I didn’t know about that until after the game, which is a good thing because I might’ve had a panic attack,” McVay told Mike Silver on his “Open Mike” podcast. “Sometimes ignorance is bliss. He has earned the right to be able to get rewarded accordingly and having some really good ball ahead of him in a Rams uniform and when he decides he’s done, then I’ll be done, too. I’m kidding.”

Donald signed a new three-year deal with the Rams this month, earning $95 million over the span of the contract. That ensures he’ll be back for at least the next two years before he’ll have another decision to make in 2024 about whether he wants to continue playing.

McVay is just happy to have No. 99 leading the defense again because without him, the Rams would look vastly different.