Quarterback

101 (ish) Questions-Q5: Will Aaron Rodgers get a new contract?

We took a bit of a summer break ourselves what with the weather being so good in the UK and England doing well enough in a tournament that we actually gave a damn!  We’re back now so watch this space for more and more content as the build up to the 2018 properly ramps up!

Ask anyone with any hint of NFL knowledge who the best quarterbacks currently playing in the NFL are and Aaron Rodgers should be in the top three, if not at number one (if you do encounter someone that does not place him in the top three then you should probably change subjects).  It’s one of the few universal opinions out there that he’s one of the best currently plying his trade and can even be compared to past greats.  So when you look at how much he’s paid versus other quarterbacks in the league then it’s a little surprising.

Overthecap.com lists Aaron Rodgers as the tenth best paid quarterback behind such luminaries as Joe Flacco, Alex Smith, Matt Stafford and Jimmy Garoppolo in terms of how much his average earnings per year are set to be.  That figure is $22m by the way.  At the top is Matt Ryan earning $30m followed by Kirk Cousins on $28m – both freshly minted contracts.

There’s an undeniable fact that inflation on quarterback salaries has rocketed in past years and Rodgers loses out since he signed a six-year contract back in 2013 (Rodgers and his agent need to look at themselves for this!).  Now there are rumblings that he wants a new contract and the Packers are willing to talk.  Should the Packers be quick to pay Rodgers a further $8m a year to match the highest earners?

Yes, they probably should as Rodgers, when fit, is one of the best in the league.  There is that caveat though of “when fit” as he is coming off a serious injury which led to him missing a significant portion of the 2017 season.  Chances are he comes back 100% and Green Bay become competitive again.  The Packers could use this scenario though to low-ball Rodgers and have him creep over the $30m mark rather than blast by it.  On the flip side, they could just not offer him a new contract at all.  They’ve got him under contract for another two years.  After that, they could franchise tag him and if needs be, do it again the next year – at which point, Rodgers would be 38…..

In a recent interview with Peter King, Rodgers has hinted at a ‘non-traditional’ contract.  What could that mean?  Undoubtedly, he’ll want to be the best paid player in the NFL.  Does he build a clause into his contract to ensure he stays the highest paid player in the league?  Does he have an option linked to Green Bay’s gross revenue as Mike Florio described on his PFT PM podcast (Green Bay being the only publicly owned football team has to release its earnings each year)?  Is he looking for a percentage of the cap hit each year which would see him earn more every time the NFL increases the salary cap?  All these would be new but two things are for sure – if a deal gets done he’s going to be the highest paid player in the league and it’s not going to be a six year deal this time around (I hope he and his agent have learnt from their mistake!).

The power though, really is with the Packers in this instance but I think they will get something done to avoid upsetting Rodgers and keeping their future Superbowl aspirations on track.  Will a contract get done before the season starts?  Probably.

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