Earlier this Summer, trade rumors circulated one of the NFL’s best defensive players, Aaron Donald, reached Pittsburgh. Yes, the rumor started that Donald, who played at the University of Pittsburgh and is from the city, could return to where it all started to play for the Steelers.
Those rumors circulated after former NFL GM Michael Lombardi appeared on the Pat McAfee Show in July. Lombardi believes that the blockbuster move could happen. That would end Donald’s career-long tenure with the Rams and send him elsewhere. Of course, he is a Pittsburgh area native, which will only swirl the rumors on that front, too.
“Say if the Rams start slow, do they at that point trade Aaron Donald at the trade deadline,” Lombardi questioned. “We could have an NBA trade for Donald. He’s truly their only asset.”
However, on Tuesday, Peter King wrote his column on NBC Sports’ Pro Football Talk addressing the speculation of Aaron Donald to the Steelers. Right now, it does not appear that Pittsburgh is in the mind of Donald as his career seemingly winds down. Donald does not have a burning desire to play for his hometown team.
“I think, for the record, Aaron Donald is not likely to play the twilight of his career for the Steelers. I hear it’s not a burning desire of his,” King wrote.
That should not be surprising to anyone who has followed that. Donald spent his entire career with the Rams, and his current contract runs through 2025. For a guy who already thought about retiring once the Rams won a Super Bowl, it generally is harder to pick up an entirely new defense and restart the roots of an NFL journey. Even with it being in his hometown, Donald to the Steelers has a lot of roadblocks that are unlikely to be met. It may happen if the perfect circumstances occur, but there are no manifestations of that right now.