Aaron Rodgers made it clear after winning his fourth NFL MVP that a decision on his plans for the 2022 season hasn’t been made. However, there is reportedly renewed optimism that the Green Bay Packers quarterback will play at Lambeau Field this fall.
A decision will come quickly, with the All-Pro quarterback wanting to give Green Bay more than enough time to react. Davante Adams, eligible for free agency, is eligible for the franchise tag this offseason and Green Bay has from Feb. 22 through March 8 to make a decision.
As of now, there are still no early signs of which way the 38-year-old quarterback is leaning. But a year after his relationship with the Packers’ front office was rocky, mainly general manager Brian Gutekunst and CEO Mark Murphy, things are in a much better place a year later.
Ian Rapoport of NFL Network reported before Super Bowl LVI that Rodgers’ relationship with the Packers is in “as good a spot as it has been in quite a long time.” Because of it, there is optimism and hope from those around the team and star quarterback for a 2022 return.
The MVP acceptance speech offered even more credibility to the improved relationship between the front office and the face of the franchise. Rodgers thanked – by name – both Gutekunst and Murphy. Reports in January also indicated that communication between the two sides improved significantly within the past year.
“I’ve had good conversations with Green Bay and I’ll do some contemplating and make a decision here pretty quick.”Aaron Rodgers on the timeline for a decision, relationship with Green Bay Packers (H/T NFL.com)
Of course, bringing Rodgers back won’t be easy. Green Bay is currently $50 million over the 2022 NFL salary cap. It’s a figure that doesn’t even include retaining Adams, signing the upcoming rookie draft class and retaining other key free agents (Allen Lazard, Rasul Douglas, De’Vondre Campbell).
Importantly, there is a way for Green Bay to make their quarterback happy and to create cap space. The Packers are willing to offer Rodgers a short-term extension that would make him the highest-paid quarterback in NFL history on a per year basis, according to Rapoport.
If Rodgers wants to return, a two-year extension with void years after his age-40 season would spread out his guaranteed money and clear up significant cap room. Between that and an opportunity to finish his historic NFL career with one team, the possibility of a return to Green Bay seems promising.