Bruce Smith Says Aaron Donald’s $40 Million Raise Wasn’t Enough: He ‘Deserves That And More’

Videos by OutKick

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.

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

Inglewood, California – Feb. 13, 2022: Rams defensive lineman Aaron Donald celebrates after sacking Bengals quarterback Joe Burrow during Super Bowl LVI at SoFi Stadium. (Photo by Focus on Sport/Getty Images)

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.

Smith’s comments are similar to that of OutKick’s Armando Salguero, who wrote Tuesday that there’s an argument that Donald is underpaid, when his salary is compared to some quarterbacks. Salguero mentioned the Commanders’ Carson Wentz, the Lions’ Jared Goff and the Vikings’ Kirk Cousins as quarterbacks making more than Donald who aren’t as valuable.


“He’s [Donald] a better player and more of a difference maker than Wentz, Goff, and Cousins who are making more,” Salguero wrote. “So is he paid handsomely now? Yes. Is he still underpaid? Maybe.”

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 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.”

Written by Nick Geddes

Nick Geddes is a 2021 graduate of the University of Central Florida with a bachelor’s degree in Journalism. A life-long sports enthusiast, Nick shares a passion for sports writing and is proud to represent OutKick.

One Comment

Leave a Reply

Leave a Reply