Aaron Rodgers is not a free agent but the quarterback for the Green Bay Packers is likely to get a new contract as he mulls his future.
If Aaron Rodgers decides to stay in Green Bay, the Packers quarterback could be looking at a record-breaking contract.
No, Rodgers is not going to get a deal as long or for as much as Kansas City Chiefs quarterback Patrick Mahomes did a couple of years ago, but his average annual salary could hit $50 million.
Rodgers has been coy about his future the last two offseasons and has all the leverage. Green Bay isn’t ready to hand the franchise over to Jordan Love so he could command a hefty new contract as he and the team continue negotiations.
“Nothing is done, but they are having discussions,” Ian Rapoport said on NFL Total Access. “They are having negotiations to have a deal, hopefully for them, ready to go if and when Aaron Rodgers firmly and finally decides that he wants to return.”
The Packers need Rodgers to keep their Super Bowl window open and Rodgers knows this. He also knows his best chance to win a Super Bowl is with the only franchise he’s ever known.
What could a new contract for Aaron Rodgers look like to stay with Packers?
Rodgers will want to be the highest-paid player in the NFL. Buffalo Bills quarterback Josh Allen is going to make $47 million next year. A nice round $50 million base salary for 2022 is what Rodgers is going to want and he’ll dig his cleats in the grass to make sure he gets it.
The Packers will want a little security knowing they won’t be doing this same dance this time again next year. A two-year deal for $100 would be the assurance Rodgers needs to drop his coy stance about his future and commitment to Green Bay.
Committing to Rodgers financially, who is scheduled to have a base salary of $26 million, the seventh-highest in the NFL will eat up a significant portion of the salary cap, but he’s worth it.
“Obviously everything around here centers around the quarterback. That’s kind of how we do things,” Packers general manager Brian Gutekunst said on Feb. 23. “It’s a big piece. It’s a domino that has to fall before we go down other avenues. So it’s important as we go through this and the puzzle pieces that we got to make fit. That’s the first one to go.”
Will Rodgers concede a little off his $50 million wish to make sure free agent Davante Adams gets his piece of the pie and can return to Green Bay? Yes, most assuredly. But don’t expect him to do what Tom Brady has done in their career and take significantly below market value to make sure others get paid to compete for a Super Bowl.
Rodgers is nearing the final chapters of his Hall of Fame career and wants to cash in while he still can.
The Packers can continue restructuring existing deals to free up as much salary cap as possible. They may have to make some cuts they may not want to make. They may not be able to pay for premium free agents, not that they are usually high-spenders in free agency. But they will have to make some shrewd draft choices and hope for continued improvement from players on rookie contracts, like Rashan Gary.
If the Packers don’t have the financial wherewithal or desire to give Rodgers what he wants, then he can always decide to retire and walk away from $26 million and dare them to begin the Love era. Or he can hold out and demand a trade, the more likely scenario of the two, and stockpile some draft picks ahead of April’s draft and begin the rebuild without one of the greatest quarterbacks in NFL history.
Rodgers has all the leverage to get what he wants.