Browns fans don't want to hear what Aaron Donald has to say about rival

Aaron Donald is in the T.J. Watt camp
Aaron Donald
Aaron Donald / Ryan Kang/GettyImages

You can take the man out of Pittsburgh but you can't take the Pittsburgh out of the man. Aaron Donald, who was born and raised in the Steel City — and even played there collegiately — gave his answer for the best defender in the NFL now that he's retired. Interestingly enough, Donald didn't pick Cleveland Browns defensive end Myles Garrett, the reigning NFL Defensive Player of the Year.

Donald, who retired this offseason, was a guest on Green Light with Chris Long and said that T.J. Watt of the Pittsburgh Steelers is now the top defender in the NFL. Donald mentioned Garrett and Micah Parsons as other elite defenders but praised Watt's consistency.

“I think it’s T.J. Watt,” Donald said when discussing the best defender in the NFL. “You talk about a guy that’s consistent. Been doing it year in, year out, consistently, that’s gonna get you 15 sacks, 13 sacks, 22 sacks, consistent. He’s the guy who’s been doing it consistently, interceptions, touchdowns, His stats are ridiculous every single year. He’s that guy to me. I know you’ve got Micah Parsons that’s coming up, you’ve got Myles Garrett, you’ve got a bunch of good players. But in my opinion, in the time I’ve seen T.J. Watt in this league, from the first time I’ve seen him to last year, he’s consistently been dominating in this league. So a lot of respect for him.”

The debate between Garrett and Watt has been going on for some time. Watt, who won the Defensive Player of the Year Award in 2021, has impressive numbers in his career and even tied Michael Strahan with the most sacks in a single season (22.5) in 2021. This past season, he had 68 tackles, 19 sacks, and an interception.

Despite boasting better numbers, he lost the coveted award to Garrett this season. The Browns defender finished with 42 tackles and 14 sacks but his impact on the game as a whole was more dominant. Teams had to focus all their efforts on stopping Garrett, which opened the door for others to flourish.

Garrett also led the way as Cleveland won 11 games despite losing Nick Chubb in Week 2 and cycling through five quarterbacks.

Despite this, Watt was so angry that Garrett won the award that he refused to attend the NFL Honors Award Show. Instead, he was tweeting from home about being used to this treatment — an asinine take considering he's from a family considered NFL royalty.

Donald never said he agreed Watt deserved the award in 2023 but his take that the Pittsburgh defender is the best might tell us which way he leans. And while he knows more about football than any of us will ever know, he might be showing his hometown colors with this take.

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