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Rams' Sean McVay confident in Aaron Donald during rebuild: 'The greats elevate people' around them

The Los Angeles Rams have shifted into rebuilding mode following years of a "screw them picks" mentality. L.A. shed several veterans this offseason, including trading Jalen Ramsey and Allen Robinson and releasing the likes of Bobby Wagner and Leonard Floyd.

The Rams defense, in particular, looks like Aaron Donald and a bunch of young guys. Donald, linebacker Ernest Jones and safety Jordan Fuller are the only full-time starters remaining.

Given Donald's dalliance with retirement in the past, it's fair to question whether the three-time AP Defensive Player of the Year is cool with playing on a rebuilding squad.

Coach Sean McVay, however, has no concerns about Donald.

"He's a great competitor. ... Aaron's motivated," McVay said Tuesday. "The greats elevate people around him. It's a very similar feeling in terms of that outside-in narrative when we first got here."

Donald is under contract for the next two seasons, with his $31.67 million annual average on his extension signed last offseason highest among non-quarterbacks.

At this point in his career, Donald is taking his future year by year. The Rams expect the dominant lineman and future Hall of Famer to buoy an inexperienced defense. If anyone can single-handedly carry a defense, it's Donald. He might need to in 2023.

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