Well, maybe it is about the money. Or at least how a contract offer is structured.
That’s the message from Mike Florio of Pro Football Talk, who adds some context and details to the news that former Cal star Aaron Rodgers turned down an offer from the Packers that would have made him the highest-paid player in the NFL. He suggests a guaranteed, two-year, $90 million contract might do the trick.
The Packers’ training camp starts this week (veterans are required to report Tuesday, first practice is Wednesday), and we continue to speculate whether Rodgers will show up to camp.
Florio suggests that Rodgers wants to be paid in such a way that the Packers do not have the option of getting rid of him after the 2021 season or after the 2022 season. (Much of the speculation concerning Rodgers’ complaint is that the Packers want to move on from Rodgers after the 2021 season, something Rodgers’ current contract allows and something Rodgers, 37, fears.)
The Packers’ offseason offer may not have eliminated the team’s option to move on from Rodgers after this season.
To create a commitment to Rodgers’ liking, according to Florio, he would need a contract that would force the Packers to keep him for several years or risk irreparable damage to their salary cap.
Here is an excerpt from Florio's report:
Per a league source, it’s believed by at least one team that has (or had) interest in Rodgers that he wants $90 million guaranteed over two years. That would get him to the Patricks Mahomes $45 million high-water mark. With the $45 million average applying to only the first two years and with all of it guaranteed, the structure necessary to pay that kind of money would as a practical matter tie Green Bay’s hands through 2022 and potentially into 2023.
Although some have said it’s not about the money, the money becomes a way to fix a problem that former teammates continue to call fixable. By giving Rodgers the kind of contract that gives the Packers no choice but to (1) keep Rodgers, and (2) keep Jordan Love on the bench, the team necessarily resets the clock to pre-2020 draft, before the moment that the team clumsily traded up to get Love without telling first Rodgers. (Telling him first probably wouldn’t have made it much better.)
So it may not be about the amount the money per se, but it could be about a contract that is structured so the Packers have no choice but to keep Rodgers on their roster for a few more years and keep Jordan Love from becoming Green Bay’s starting quarterback for a few more years.
It might not solve all the issues Rodgers has with the personnel in the Packers organization, but it may appease him enough to stay in Green Bay for 2021 and perhaps beyond.
Cover photo of Aaron Rodgers by Mark J. Rebilas, USA TODAY Sports
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