GREEN BAY, Wis. – Aaron Rodgers’ revised contract with the Green Bay Packers has provided much-needed flexibility to get through the upcoming season.
Rodgers was due to have a cap charge of just over $37.2 million in 2021. Now, according to ESPN.com’s Field Yates, it’s down to just more than $27.57 million.
“We’ll certainly have to do that,” general manager Brian Gutekunst said on Thursday of paying for the Randall Cobb trade. “We’ll probably address Aaron’s contract at some point, which will create a little bit of salary cap help this year for a move like that. I think that’s part of it. We really probably couldn’t do that move without Aaron adjusting his contract and kicking some money out.”
Of course, there’s no such thing as a free lunch and the Packers will have to pay the piper. And, with the 2023 season voided, the piper will be paid in 2022. Rodgers’ cap number will soar from more than $39.85 million in 2022 to $46.14 million.
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With that and all the contract shifting Gutekunst did this past offseason just to get in compliance with this year’s salary cap, the Packers are $49,421,101 over the 2022 salary-cap ceiling of $208.2 million, according to OverTheCap.com.
It’s that line that will force the Packers and Rodgers to come to some sort of agreement next offseason. Either Rodgers and general manager Brian Gutekunst will find enough common ground this season – the Cobb trade a potential step – to come up with a long-term contract extension to drastically lower that cap hit while giving Rodgers the job security he had coveted. Or, the Packers will be forced to trade Rodgers. There will be no middle ground or half-measures. It will be one or the other because the financial numbers are just too big.
If the Packers trade Rodgers after the upcoming season, they’d save just short of $19.3 million against the cap but have to swallow just shy of $26.85 million of dead cap, according to OTC. That would be $12.9 percent of the cap devoured by Rodgers’ dead money. Those numbers essentially flip if the trade were to be made after June 1, with the cap savings up to $26.97 million.
For the short term, Over the Cap has the Packers with about $9.65 million of cap space following the Rodgers and Cobb transactions. A decent chunk of that money will be needed just to get through the season with practice-squad moves, gameday roster elevations and the like. That won’t leave much room to put toward contract extensions, such as for receiver Davante Adams.