If Aaron Rodgers was looking for clarity in the form of commitment from the Packers, it appears as if there was an attempt.
This off-season, the Packers offered Aaron Rodgers a two-year contract extension that would have tied him to Green Bay for five more seasons and made him the highest-paid QB and player in football.
Rodgers declined the offer, proof it’s not about the money.
— Adam Schefter (@AdamSchefter) July 20, 2021
ESPN’s Adam Schefter reports Rodgers was offered a two-year extension on his current deal. Tacking on two years would have been on top of the remaining three years of his active deal, keeping him in Green Bay for the next five years. On top of all that, it would have made him the highest-paid player in football. That seems like it’s a nice deal if you can get it, but Schefter chimes in to say Rodgers turned it down. Schefter even goes as far as to suggest it is proof that this offseason drama isn’t about the money. If it’s not about the money, then what’s it about? Being right? Petty? Who knows at this point…
If it’s not about money, is it about structuring?
Green Bay could restructure Rodgers’ current deal, convert base salary into a signing bonus, present it as making him the game’s highest-paid quarterback, and call it a day without blinking an eye. But doing that at this point of the offseason, and not back in March when doing so could’ve cleared cap space to sign necessary pieces feels wasteful. And in a way, a slap in the face to Rodgers. Sure, being the highest-paid player at the game’s most important position is nice. But getting that offer after any possible free agent help is offer isn’t much of a consolation prize for someone who has been to consecutive NFC Championship Games.
Is it about non-monetary guarantees? Could it be about something as simple as ensuring this extension wipes out Jordan Love’s opportunity to usurp him as QB1? One way to do that is to structure the extension in a way that makes it nearly impossible to cut Rodgers, save cap space, and insert Love into the starting lineup. As things currently stand, the Packers could part ways with Rodgers after this season, and create nearly $23 million worth of cap space in the process. Rodgers says he has no issues with Love, but it’s not as if Rodgers is actively trying to step away from the game like his predecessor Brett Favre. So, through that lens, I can see Rodgers wanting to get some type of firm commitment from the Packers in that way.
In the end, it feels if there is still a resolution to be found between two sides. It just doesn’t look like either side wants to give in to the other.