Green Bay Keeps Aaron Rodgers: $153 Million Guaranteed

Packers QB Aaron Rodgers
Packers QB Aaron Rodgers
Photo: USA Today Sports Images

NFL Offseason - Ian Rapoport is reporting that the Green Bay Packers and reigning MVP Aaron Rodgers have agreed to terms on a four-year, $200-million deal featuring $153 million guaranteed. Rodgers goes into his age-39 season as the highest-paid player in NFL history. Denver Broncos fans will now have to look elsewhere. Perhaps they are interested in a slightly used Jordan Love?

What will Rodgers' value be going forward. This is where we used to quote all kinds of stats about the lack of great seasons by quarterbacks in their late thirties and early forties, but Tom Brady sort of threw that idea out the window. Perhaps Rodgers will fall off a cliff. Perhaps he will be great until he decides to retire.

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Comments

43 comments, Last at 10 Mar 2022, 10:43am

#1 by billprudden // Mar 08, 2022 - 11:38am

Will the gambling and streaming money make this a bargain as soon as next year?  

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#7 by Chuckc // Mar 08, 2022 - 12:09pm

Does any of that even figure into the salary cap?

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#2 by Aaron Brooks G… // Mar 08, 2022 - 11:39am

Do you think he can convince Gronkowski that he's just Tom Brady in a mustache and that "Tampa" is just Spanish for "Green"?

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#3 by ImNewAroundThe… // Mar 08, 2022 - 11:46am

Jordan Love was a horrible pick 😂😭

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#4 by theslothook // Mar 08, 2022 - 11:53am

This is an interesting fork in the road moment. This deal comes with plenty of downside risk as Rodgers is embarking in waters charted by a single human being in history. And a fair amount of his greatness is built on his physical talent. 

But, the safest course was probably to go with Rodgers until the wheels come off. And frankly this coaching staff and front office do not have the cache to survive the growing pains of a rebuild the way Bill Belichick could when Brady departed.

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#5 by Aaron Brooks G… // Mar 08, 2022 - 11:57am

Their QB of the future didn't pan out, so this is probably the lowest downside move. It could bomb; but it buys you a second chance.

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#8 by matu_72 // Mar 08, 2022 - 12:15pm

I'm not sure you can say Love didn't pan out. He only started 1 game. This is more of going with the known over the unknown. The known being a defending back to back mvp and guaranteed hall of famer who is still playing like a hall of famer. 

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#9 by Chuckc // Mar 08, 2022 - 12:19pm

The Packers have seen more of Jordan Love than anybody else. Them giving out the largest contract in league history over giving him a shot tells you what they think of him.

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#10 by theslothook // Mar 08, 2022 - 12:26pm

To me that's still not sufficient a reason as evidenced by the stories of backups turned great QBs. It's not irrelevant per se, but but I don't think by itself it implies Jordan love is a total bust.

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#12 by Chuckc // Mar 08, 2022 - 12:50pm

I guess that depends on how you define "bust." I think it pretty clearly implies the Packers don't consider Love worth further investment. He may still be capable of starting in the NFL but it won't be for the Packers.

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#16 by ImNewAroundThe… // Mar 08, 2022 - 1:14pm

He was never a good prospect. QB5 at best. Best QBR in college was 44th. Went to crap after losing a bunch of bums and a 6th round RB.

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#19 by theslothook // Mar 08, 2022 - 1:26pm

Well keep in mind, it's Love vs the alternative in Rodgers MVP. In that context I'm not sure Aaron Rodgers the third year player gets chosen over Aaron Rodgers the MVP.

 

I still view Jordan love as a total unknown at this point.

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#18 by serutan // Mar 08, 2022 - 1:23pm

We'll know if other teams disagree with the Packers if we start seeing stories of teams inquiring about Love's availability.

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#29 by Pat // Mar 08, 2022 - 7:05pm

the stories of backups turned great QBs.

What, Jimmy Garoppolo?

Who the heck else in recent memory got traded away/released and turned out even decent after their team stuck with their ancient, yet Hall of Fame, quarterback?

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#31 by theslothook // Mar 08, 2022 - 7:47pm

He's not the last but Favre certainly works out.

I think lesser example would be Matt Schaub.

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#32 by Spanosian Magn… // Mar 08, 2022 - 8:40pm

Speaking of Favre: Kurt Warner. Matt Hasselbeck. Mark Brunell. All Pro Bowl QBs traded/cut in favor of the incumbent HoFer. Those mid/late-'90s Packers teams were wild.

But more recently than Schaub... Uh..... Teddy Bridgewater's been average-ish since NO let him walk and kept Brees. Taylor Heinicke wasn't terrible for Football Team last year, after being cut by Carolina in favor of aging/breaking down Cam Newton.

That's all I got.

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#33 by theslothook // Mar 08, 2022 - 8:48pm

Right so its not unheard of. Saying Love's chance of turning into a hall of famer is poor doesn't invalidated my point. Qbs of all stripes are unlikely to become hall of famers.

My argument went simply like this: To me, Love is an unknown in the same way Osweiler was an unknown prior to his starting half the year in Denver(and as I wrote at the time of his extension, was still an unknown).

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#35 by Spanosian Magn… // Mar 08, 2022 - 10:48pm

Honestly, I was mostly just Remembering Some Guys. Pat's point - and mine, obliquely - is that, while it's not unprecedented, it's rare and hasn't happened in awhile that a team kept the star over the understudy and the understudy went on to do significant things. Jimmy G is the only one in at least a decade.

I don't agree that he's a complete unknown at this point, though. Obviously, the Packers opted to bring back a 39-year-old QB to start over him. And when he has played - about 1.5 games, of course - he's been inaccurate and had poor ball security. It's not a ton of evidence, but it's not positive - I'd be shocked if they got pick #26 or better in trade for him, and that's after 2 years of pro training. At this point, frankly, I'd be surprised if they got a 3rd rounder.

Which isn't to say that he's definitely a bust or that he couldn't still develop; he was always going to be a project, he was very young when drafted, and that first year was the weird awfulness of 2020. I also don't think it means the Packers are going to kick him to the curb, as many seem to: Garoppolo sat for 5 years, and of course Rodgers for 3. And Rodgers has missed significant time in several seasons, so a decent backup is needed, and there isn't an obvious better option than Love at this point.

But they also probably aren't going to trade him because they're not going to get much in return, because he's been underwhelming to date.

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#42 by justanothersteve // Mar 09, 2022 - 7:56pm

For me, the best way to look at it is how he compares to recent Packers backups when pressed into game action. I saw more out of Matt Flynn in his rare appearances to think he might be a serviceable NFL QB even before that wild game against Detroit. OTOH, he does look more promising than Scott Tolzien. So he's more impressive than a recent undrafted QB but not as impressive as a seventh round pick who never hung on as a starter anywhere. I realize it's small sample size with Jordan Love but I've haven't seen anything from him to think he'll be better than Flynn. 

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#36 by Pat // Mar 09, 2022 - 8:07am

He's not the last but Favre certainly works out.

That was 1991 - before free agency existed! And the Packers traded a first round pick to get Favre. So I'll happily concede that if some other team forks over a first round pick for Love, clearly the problem was with the Packers.

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#37 by Aaron Brooks G… // Mar 09, 2022 - 10:01am

If you ignore the ancient park, both Warner (twice, basically) and Brees qualify. Rich Gannon.

Rivers has the most fascinating what-ifs. He was traded for Eli and was chosen to replace Brees. (Eli was chosen over Warner) Rivers is the only one of the set to never win a SB.

Going back a bit, Tampa let Steve Young go to keep DeBerg and draft Testaverde. Young's career intersections are almost as neat as Rivers'.

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#38 by Pat // Mar 09, 2022 - 12:09pm

You're getting a bit too generic with "QB team lets go becomes a success elsewhere" at this point. Once Warner got the starting job on the Rams (due to injury), everyone in the league knew he at least had the ceiling of a starting-caliber QB. The Rams let him go because of injury, the Giants let him go because they had a viable young starter.

Brees was the starter and similarly was let go because of injury when the team had a viable starting alternative. Gannon similarly bounced around and finally landed in the Raiders lap when the Chiefs chose Grbac instead of him.

Those aren't cases where the backup's seen minimal action and is a complete unknown from the fans' perspective. These are cases where a team essentially had two starter-level QBs (from the fans' perspective) and chose one over the other.

Talking about Jordan Love is more akin to Favre, Hasselbeck, Brunell, and Garoppolo, and really the whole Favre/Hasselbeck/Brunell thing was so early in free agency that it's hard to believe it's a real comparison. And obviously Garoppolo actually had successful games for New England and they thought highly enough of him that it took a decent draft haul to pull him away. So even that comparison's a stretch!

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#43 by theslothook // Mar 10, 2022 - 10:43am

Really, I am talking about high draft picks who were largely unknown and thus had questionable value. If Brees hadn't injured his shoulder and Marty had gotten his way, Rivers would have been traded at we would be having similar questions. 

There's a reason Elway wanted and then got outbid for Osweiler. 

My point in all of this is Love is an unknown, but in a different way than some 4th rounder who never started. 

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#11 by theslothook // Mar 08, 2022 - 12:32pm

Part of me wonders...what if Rodgers and the Packers had a 10 percent worse regular season.

In that universe, Rodgers doesn't win the MVP, probably isn't the 1 seed. In this world, I wonder if it tilts the decision in favor of trading him because I do think the public fallout of letting the MVP walk after being on the doorstep of the SB is too unpalatable.

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#13 by Aaron Brooks G… // Mar 08, 2022 - 12:57pm

Would 10% worse be .665 or .690? Is that 12-5 or 11-5-1? I'm not sure how the tiebreakers would work at 12-5.

Mind you, they weren't really playing to win that week 18 game. Even with an earlier loss in the season, the Packers could still have been the 1-seed.

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#15 by spybloom // Mar 08, 2022 - 1:12pm

What about Rodgers being 10% worse? Putting all of the numbers into a vacuum, would a 3,700-33-5 season still be MVP-worthy over Brady's 5,316-43-12? Probably not - that's a pretty average-looking Rodgers season. Even if the Packers still got the #1 seed, I don't know if an average season would merit this contract. I'd probably still extend him, mind you, just not at highest-ever numbers.

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#27 by Aaron Brooks G… // Mar 08, 2022 - 2:56pm

10% worse than Rodgers would be Mahomes/Prescott/Herbert by volume, or somewhere between Mahomes and Brady in efficiency.

10% off Rodgers is basically Peak Josh Allen.

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#40 by SandyRiver // Mar 09, 2022 - 2:18pm

And that "single human being" had an amazing ability, with that one exception, for avoiding injury, while Rodgers has played with nagging injuries in several seasons.

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#41 by Aaron Brooks G… // Mar 09, 2022 - 3:33pm

I don't think there is a football player alive who isn't playing with a nagging injury.

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#6 by theslothook // Mar 08, 2022 - 11:57am

It'll be really interesting to see what kind of compensation they can land for Jordan love and what kind of contract love will be looking for.

I remember some draft nicks saying Jordan love is as good as any of the top ranked prospects in this draft, which could be damning with faint praise.

If you believe in the QB marinade theory + gets to watch an all-time legend do it theory, then he's an even more tantalizing prospect. If you're one of those guys who looks at a few spot starts and bases your judgment on that, he's not worth a damn.

Either way, it will be interesting to see what is considered an overpay 

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#28 by Tutenkharnage // Mar 08, 2022 - 4:20pm

Because I'm confident they won't get anything of value for him.

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#14 by Bill Walshs Ho… // Mar 08, 2022 - 12:58pm

I'm guessing this shifts Rodgers' cap hit into the future?  They were already $26M over the cap and they have other key free agents like Davante Adams.  Will the Packers look like the Saints in 3-4 years?

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#17 by spybloom // Mar 08, 2022 - 1:23pm

With the reports of Adams probably getting the franchise tag, there's definitely going to be a lot of action in GB over the next week. With the tag and before Rodgers' extension, they'd be about $45M over the cap. I don't know what they base it off of, but Over the Cap says a Rodgers extension could save $21M. If they cut Z Smith and Cobb, that's another $22M, and then an Alexander extension could save them $10M (again, per Over the Cap). So after tagging Adams, cutting Smith and Cobb, and extending Rodgers and Alexander, they'd be at most $8M under the cap (very likely less than that, due to the extension details).

I don't think they'll do exactly all of that, but those are the likely moves that could get them under the cap in a pinch. So they're not Saints bad...yet. We'll see how long they plan on keeping this core around and who they can develop in the meantime.

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#20 by serutan // Mar 08, 2022 - 1:26pm

CBS is reporting that the extension will in fact create $21M in cap space.  If they do the other moves then sign Adams it will be interesting to see whether/how long it takes the Packers to become Saints North w.r.t the cap.

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#39 by Pat // Mar 09, 2022 - 12:18pm

The Packers were basically waiting on Rodgers to decide what to do for the near-term (2-3 year) in terms of free agency, which is why they're so far over the cap. Prior to this extension, the Packers had -45M on a 1-year scale, +65M on a 2-year scale and +233M on a 3-year scale (obviously with basically no one under contract). A set of extensions/restructurings will pull that money around. In other words, they're basically fine cap-wise, they just won't have flexibility to shed stars if they start to decline. Which isn't such a bad position to be in with the team they have.

The Saints, in contrast, because they're wacko and apparently seem to be going "all in" on Taysom Hill, currently have -45M on a 1-year scale, -23M on a 2 year scale and +98M on a 3-year scale. They're already locked in terms of flexibility, but of course the problem is they're not a good team.

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#21 by theslothook // Mar 08, 2022 - 1:31pm

This gets to my larger question about how onerous are cap situations. They often appear in the worst case when a team is in a rebuild cycle and the cap pain magnifies the on the field pain.

But if the Saints still had Brees in his prime, they could probably pass off the cap hit today into the future, essentially borrowing against the future until they arrived at the same tear down junction.

All that to say, as long as Aaron Rodgers is a great QB, the cap pain can be forestalled until the end at which point you are already out of contention.

In that context, cap hell really just means no flexibility rather than impending doom.

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#30 by Pat // Mar 08, 2022 - 7:13pm

 

The Saints (+Cowboys) and Packers had different cap situations. The Packers have huge cap space on a 3-year timescale. The Saints (+Cowboys) had far, far less. The issue is just looking only at 1-year cap space vs. multi-year. 

In that context, cap hell really just means no flexibility rather than impending doom.

If Brees had demanded Rodgers-level money they realistically wouldn't've been able to pay it. Lack of flexibility is impending doom.

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#24 by Bill Walshs Ho… // Mar 08, 2022 - 2:08pm

Feels like the Packers trying to emulate the Rams; top heavy at skill positions with no money for depth

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#26 by Aaron Brooks G… // Mar 08, 2022 - 2:16pm

In reply to by Bill Walshs Ho…

I mean, Stafford has as many rings as Rodgers does, so...

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#22 by theslothook // Mar 08, 2022 - 1:42pm

More thoughts...

What does this contract imply for Murray and Lamar? 50 million is the top line number. Could Murray and Lamar credibility ask for 46 or 47? How about even 50.00001?

 

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#23 by Tutenkharnage // Mar 08, 2022 - 1:49pm

According to Adam Schefter.

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#34 by ImNewAroundThe… // Mar 08, 2022 - 9:23pm

they need to go get Bobby Wagner now! 

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