Shortly after their NFC Championship Game loss this past January, speculation heated up that Green Bay Packers quarterback Aaron Rodgers could potentially be looking to be moved.
Those rumors died down some following postgame comments from Rodgers questioning the future Hall of Famer’s future in Green Bay.
After the first week-plus of NFL free agency, we’re starting to hear more in this regard. It’s not great for Aaron Rodgers and his relationship with the Packers.
They have pushed back against restructuring Rodgers’ contract as a way to be more active on the free agent market. Said restructure likely wouldn’t have added any more money to the quarterback’s current four-year, $134 million contract.
Rather, it would have linked him to Green Bay beyond the 2021 season due to the dead cap hit that would follow said restructure. It was this past Friday that the Packers paid Rodgers’ $6.8 million roster bonus rather than attempting to use some of that money in a restructure to be more active during free agency. In turn, it seems like Rodgers is reading between the lines.
“Multiple league sources said they believe Rodgers wants assurances that he will be Green Bay’s quarterback beyond just the 2021 season and that he won’t be a ‘lame-duck” quarterback’. The team could do that by adjusting his contract without adding any money to it,” ESPN’s Rob Demovsky noted on Tuesday.
The Packers can still convert Rodgers’ $14.7 million base salary for 2021 into a signing bonus, freeing up more cap room in the process.
However, that would come with a large dead cap hit following next season. As of right now, Green Bay would save $22 million against the 2022 NFL salary cap by trading Rodgers next offseason. It’s also important to note that the Packers did not do this before the start of free agency last week. It stands to reason that this is not in the cards.
We could be nearing the end of Aaron Rodgers and the Green Bay Packers
That’s the major backdrop here. Rodgers was not happy that Green Bay selected quarterback Jordan Love in the first round of the 2020 NFL Draft. It’s readily apparent that general manager Brian Gutekunst and Co. are preparing for a future without the 37-year-old Rodgers.
In turn, one of the game’s best-ever quarterbacks is looking for a commitment from Green Bay beyond the 2021 season. Short of that happening, drama could be the name of the game between the two sides.
If you think that’s far-fetched, you have politely ignored the situation a fellow all-time great in Russell Wilson finds himself in with the Seattle Seahawks. The same thing can be said about Deshaun Watson and the Houston Texans less than a calendar year after he signed a lucrative extension with the organization.
Green Bay is highly unlikely to move off Rodgers this offseason. That much is known. However, the team’s unwillingness to commit to the future Hall of Famer could lead to widespread issues behind the scenes.
A first-round pick of the Packers in 2005, Aaron Rodgers threw for 4,299 yards with 48 touchdowns against five interceptions en route to winning his third NFL MVP award this past season. He’s showing no signs of slowing down. That will also play a role moving forward.
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