December 8, 2022

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Will this finally be it for Aaron Rodgers and the Packers?

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After the Green Bay Packers and quarterback Aaron Rodgers announced they were running it back, the general assumption was that the veteran QB would retire after the 2024 NFL season.

OutKick’s Armando Salguero reported that Rodgers was already signed for the 2022 season but his representatives and the Packers adjusted that year — and it appeared to make the deal a two-year extension.

Matt Schneidman of The Athletic reports that the contract is essentially a one-year deal for $42 million. The same idea was relayed by former Packers executive Andrew Brandt, in his recent Sports Illustrated column.

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Aaron Rodgers #12 of the Green Bay Packers warms up before the game against the Detroit Lions at Ford Field on January 09, 2022 in Detroit, Michigan. 

Aaron Rodgers #12 of the Green Bay Packers warms up before the game against the Detroit Lions at Ford Field on January 09, 2022 in Detroit, Michigan. 
(Photo by Nic Antaya/Getty Images)

“I view this contract as a one-year deal for $42 million,” Brandt wrote. “Next year there are two guaranteed option bonuses, but these bonuses 1) have to be exercised by the Packers, and 2) would travel to a new team upon any trade. And with this option bonus structure, the dead money actually goes up the longer the contract goes on. Were Rodgers to retire or be traded before the option next year, there would be roughly $40 million of dead money but also a credit of $59 million in nonexercised bonuses back to the Packers.”

“And if he were to play again for the Packers next year, the dead money would rise to never-before-seen proportions. The Packers knew this in negotiating this contract, as did Rodgers’ agent. In my humble opinion, this contract suggests a one-and-done for Rodgers, and Jordan Love will ascend to the Packers’ starting quarterback job after three years of apprenticeship, the same term that Aaron waited years ago,” he added. 

Jan 2, 2022; Green Bay, Wisconsin, USA; Green Bay Packers quarterback Aaron Rodgers (12) warms up before game against the Minnesota Vikings at Lambeau Field.

Jan 2, 2022; Green Bay, Wisconsin, USA; Green Bay Packers quarterback Aaron Rodgers (12) warms up before game against the Minnesota Vikings at Lambeau Field.
(Benny Sieu-USA TODAY Sports)

The Athletic reported that the team began the offseason about $50 million over the salary cap — the second-worst cap crater in the league — but now sit No. 16 and hold more than $15 million in cap space.

AARON RODGERS’ CONTRACT A SIGHT TO BEHOLD, BREAKS NFL BARRIERS

Overthecap.com shows Green Bay’s $15,139,028 in available cap space after factoring in all the new deals.

But the team doesn’t appear to have much spending money when accounting for future spending on things like practice squad salaries and in-season signings, Green Bay salary cap analyst Ken Ingalls shows.

Green Bay Packers' Aaron Rodgers thorws during the first half of an NFL football game against the Seattle Seahawks Sunday, Nov. 14, 2021, in Green Bay, Wis.

Green Bay Packers’ Aaron Rodgers thorws during the first half of an NFL football game against the Seattle Seahawks Sunday, Nov. 14, 2021, in Green Bay, Wis.
(AP Photo/Aaron Gash)

So for now, let’s not be so quick to assume Rodgers will play beyond the 2022 season — at least in Green Bay.

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Follow Meg Turner on Twitter @Megnturner_ and Instagram @Megnturner.

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