An NFL insider doesn’t think it’s that far out to expect Aaron Rodgers could potentially retire and unretire this offseason.
In the world of what-ifs, it’s pretty funny to imagine that the Green Bay Packers could see a Brett Favre retirement situation all over again with Aaron Rodgers. If you ask Pro Football Talk’s Ian Rapoport, he thinks it might actually be a likely scenario.
Rodgers has a few options he could choose to exercise.
One, he could simply return to the Packers. Two, he could decide to return to the NFL but work with the Packers to look for a trade partner. Third, he could retire.
And now, fourth, he could strategically retire, with the intention of unretiring in a few months to ultimately play in 2023.
Rapoport broke down the very interesting set of timelines Rodgers is working with.
"“Rodgers has a fully-guaranteed $58.3 million option bonus that much be exercised between March 17 and Week One of the regular season. If he’d retire before the window opens and if he’d unretire before that window closes, the Packers would be on the clock, strapped with the obligation to pay him either the option bonus or owe that same amount in base salary for 2023.When Favre unretired in 2008, the Packers were able to carry his $12 million compensation package under the salary cap. That allowed the team to take its time in trading him out of the conference. If Rodgers would suddenly return in late July, like Favre did, the Packers would have to immediately get in compliance with the cap, if Rodgers’s total pay of $59.465 million for 2023 would put them over the top.Unless the Packers deliberately find a way to save $60 million in cap space (it won’t be easy, given that they’re currently projected to be over the cap for 2023), Rodgers could force them to basically give him away to anyone who’d take him by the end of the same business day that his contract landed back on the Packers’ cap calculation.”"
So, basically, such a scenario would screw the Packers within the confines of the salary cap and push the control of the situation directly into Rodgers’ hands.
Rapoport also pointed out that if Rodgers wants to skip OTAs, then retiring is an easy way to do that without taking criticism or questions for why he didn’t show up.
Has Tom Brady popularized the strategy of retiring and then changing your mind just a few weeks later? It’s great when you don’t have to deal with the consequences of your decisions!
Aaron Rodgers delaying his decision has left door open for rampant speculation
Aaron Rodgers, one has to guess, probably doesn’t like scenarios like this being thrown out. He’s regularly pointing fingers at the media for creating stories about him. The Packers can’t like this, either.
This, though, is the reality of what happens when you delay making a decision and publicly go on a darkness retreat, an event that one would think would prompt silence and discretion, not telling the entire world about it.
The world thought Rodgers would come out of his darkness experience with an answer. It doesn’t seem if that’s the case, as we’re several days removed from his awakening with no new information about whether Rodgers wants to play (and for whom) next season or retire.
Rodgers is leaning right into that Favre successor role. Next, he just needs to play for the Jets and then crush Packers fans hearts by finishing his career with the Minnesota Vikings.