The latest update on Aaron Rodgers is not a fortuitous one for the Denver Broncos.
With hours to go until the pre-June 1 embargo expires, The Athletic's Matt Schneidman reports Green Bay Packers general manager Brian Gutekunst is "holding firm to the stance" that he "will not" trade the reigning NFL MVP, whose future remains the subject of ongoing speculation.
Any deal involving Rodgers won't take place until Tuesday (June 2), when the Packers can clear $16.05 million in salary-cap space and create "just" $21.152 million in dead money. Conversely, the Packers would incur a $38.356 million dead-cap charge, saving less than $6 million, by trading him prior to that date.
Rodgers, whose relationship with Gutekunst devolved from toxic to borderline irreparable, skipped voluntary Organized Team Activities last week and reportedly has threatened to hold out into the regular season — or even retire, possibly to host Jeopardy! — unless his issues are assuaged.
If Rodgers chooses the latter route, he would lose the remaining $23 million in signing bonus on his $134 million contract, which runs through 2023. The Packers, in this scenario, also could come after the $6.8 million roster bonus he recently collected.
"In other words, if Gutekunst doesn’t trade Rodgers and the star quarterback refuses to show up, he’d be costing himself a lot of money, even if it’s not really 'a lot' compared to what he has made throughout his career," Schneidman wrote.
The Broncos currently wield enough cap room — $28.957 million, second-most in the league — to absorb Rodgers' financial burden, should rookie GM George Paton opt to part with precious draft capital.
ESPN's Jeff Legwold, upon conferring with those-in-the-know, reported Monday it'd cost "two first-round picks, a second-round pick and either additional players or additional picks" to acquire the future Hall-of-Fame field general.
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