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Kyler Murray Reaction No Surprise To Aaron Donald Retirement 

Rams defensive tackle's decision shakes up NFC West

Aaron Donald made rumblings last offseason that he might retire, and it made sense, with so many changes with the Rams. He was convinced to stay, the Rams were better than expected -- especially on defense -- and Donald wreaked havoc like he always does.

So it was surprising to see the defensive tackle post on social media Friday he was retiring (OK, surprising to most; the Rams social media team had graphics and video ready to go). Perhaps it shouldn't have been surprising how Kyler Murray reacted in the moment -- and props to the Cardinals QB for having self-awareness of the situation.

Donald was a pain in the rear for every team he went against, but obviously in the NFC West -- where the Cards, Seahawks and Niners had to play him twice a season -- it was magnified. Only Russell Wilson (15) was sacked by Donald more than Murray (6.5), and Donald have five extra seasons to face Wilson before Kyler got into the league.

So yeah, it makes sense that Kyler is relieved.

The Rams still have Matthew Stafford and Sean McVay and those guys will make the team competitive. But you take a great player out of the defense -- and this isn't a player who was fading in his last couple of years, Donald was still the best DL (and arguably the best defensive player) in the league. Myles Garrett and T.J. Watt are awesome. Donald was too. 

For the Cardinals, it'll help going against the Rams with the physical "cram it vertical" mindset when an excellent lineman isn't part of the equation.

And Kyler won't have to stress quite as much on obvious passing downs when the Rams are the opponent.

Arizona Cardinals quarterback Kyler Murray(1) collides with offensive guard Max Garcia (73) as he is pushed back by Los Angeles Rams defensive lineman Aaron Donald (99) during the first half of an NFL football game Monday, Dec. 13, 2021, in Glendale, Ariz. (AP Photo/Ralph Freso)