How Aaron Rodgers’ contract limits the Packers’ options

Green Bay must make some tough decisions regarding Aaron Rodgers’ future with the team, Jordan Love, and his salary cap.

GREEN BAY — At the time, it seemed like a simple decision: If Aaron Rodgers wanted to return to play his 18th season with the Green Bay Packers (and possibly the 19th and 20th seasons), the general manager Brian Gutekunst and the contract negotiator Russ Ball They would not delay in finalizing the negotiation.

The result was a contract extension for three years and 150 million dollars signed last March and containing substantial amounts of guaranteed money.

Even after the fifth consecutive loss suffered last Sunday by the packers before some Detroit Lions in difficulties by score 15-9, Rodgers he says he has not questioned his decision to return.

“When I decided to return, I did it with all my commitment. And I don’t make decisions and then [veo] in hindsight, 20/20, and I regret big decisions like that,” he said. Rodgers.

What if the packers they do not think the same?

The team must make some tough decisions regarding the future of Rodgers with the team, the quarterback jordan love (chosen in the first round of the 2020 draft) and his salary cap due to the contractual commitment with Rodgers. Due to the particularities of his contract, it would be difficult for the packers turn the page with Rodgers after the end of this season if the decision was made unilaterally by the team, especially if that happens before June 1, 2023.

That is largely because Rodgers is entitled to exercise a $58.3 million bond option in 2023 and is fully guaranteed. It is an option because, according to a source familiar with the contract, it can be exercised at any time by the packers between the first day of the 2023 league schedule next March and the eve of the first regular season match for Green Bay. The option bonus comprises the bulk of his pay for 2023, which totals $59.515 million (including a $1.165 million base salary and a $50,000 offseason workout bonus). Timing is important because if packers they end up exchanging him, they will want the team that receives their services to end up assuming said salary burdens.

And we also have the factor Sees it. The packers they must decide by next May whether to exercise the quarterback’s fifth-year option for 2024 (which would be worth close to $20 million fully guaranteed). At the beginning of this year, Gutekunst told the Green Bay Press-Gazette that it would be “very difficult to imagine” a scenario in which Rodgers Y Sees it are together in the 2024 squad.

Gutekunst and the head coach matt lafleur haven’t seen enough of Sees it in competitive action (42-71 for 484 yards, two touchdowns and three interceptions in eight games) to determine if this is a viable replacement for Rodgerseither by 2023 or beyond.

“I think they have to play with jordan love once they are removed. And here’s why, and it has something to do with my history with packers”, affirms the analyst of NFL for ESPNMike Tannenbaum, a former general manager who is perhaps best known to fans of the packers for having finalized the exchange that led to Brett Favre to the New York Jets in 2008.

“I understood from the voices of [el entonces scout de los Packers] John Schneider Y [el entonces gerente general de los Packers] ted thompsonwho knew what they had with Aaron Rodgers when they negotiated Favre”.

According to Tannenbaumthe worst scenario is not that Sees it not be a good player; is that he is a good player with another team, which is why he says that the packers They must understand the level Sees it can contribute, at the latest by the end of this season.

“After all, Brian Y Matt, your responsibility lies in the next 10 years,” Tannenbaum said. “They won’t win the title this year, so as hard as it is to watch Aaron Rodgers in the eyes and say: ‘We’ll put you on the bench’, the alternative is for him to come back and negotiate jordan love with [un equipo de la talla de] the falcons for a third-round draft pick, and jordan love he is a momentous starter in this league for the next 10 years.”

“Then, Aaron retires after the 2023 season and there you are with no hope and no plan and your young quarterback, who this whole thing started with, is tearing up Atlanta. You can’t let that happen.”

These are the possible scenarios for Rodgers and the packers and how they would affect his salary cap:

Rodgers plays next season with the Packers

When Rodgers signed his hefty extension, it was a virtually universal assumption that he would play until the 2023 season, due to the aforementioned option bonus and guaranteed money.

In 2024, his $49.25 million salary and bonuses are only guaranteed against injury (rather than a demotion or release for salary-cap reasons). They would be fully guaranteed if Rodgers is part of the staff of 90 of the packers for the fifth day after superbowl played after the 2023 regular season.

If no new adjustments are made to said contract, the presence of Rodgers affects $31,623,570 in the salary cap of the packers for 2023, which represents less than 3 million additional to its load on top of the current campaign. The option bonus would be paid in two installments: the first for 28.3 million dollars within 10 days after the exercise of said option and then 30 million until September 30 inclusive. The timing of payments does not affect their impact within the salary cap.

Rodgers retires this offseason

This is the easiest scenario to define (although it seems less likely to occur), because Rodgers He would forfeit his $58.3 million option bonus and any additional compensation stemming from his contract.

In the unlikely event that Rodgers rescind your right to collect such amounts, the packers keep him on the roster until June 1 for salary-cap-related reasons. At that moment, Green Bay he could spread the remaining proration of his signing bonus between the 2023 and 2024 salary caps, meaning his cap impact for the upcoming tournament would be slightly less than $16 million.

This is how two recent quarterback retirements were handled. Drew Brees said goodbye to NFL in March 2021; however, considering that his retirement was not made official until after June 1st, the New Orleans Saints they withheld their salary-cap impact for 2021 at $12.225 million to that day. It was later reduced by 1.1 million for after June 1. Ben Roethlisberger retired last January, but paperwork was expected to be delayed until after June 1 for salary-cap related reasons. Pittsburgh Steelers.

Rodgers is released

This is the least likely scenario to happen, especially before June 1, because they would still have to pay Rodgers his 2023 base salary and option bonus.

They also must take on more than $99 million in dead money over their 2023 salary cap, which is unsustainable. Waiting until after June 1 would result in a net savings of $50,000 under the salary cap, though the impact of that dead money would exceed $31.5 million in 2023 and more than double in 2024.

It would also mean that the packers would receive no compensation (for example, draft picks) if Rodgers ends up playing with another team after his release.

Rodgers is traded

A trade would have salary-cap consequences similar to what would occur if the packers set free Rodgersdepending on whether it was traded before or after exercising the 2023 bonus option and whether this occurs before or after June 1.

If the packers they change it, they will most likely do so before paying their option bonus. However, the team that acquires him should assume the rest of his salary load. Contrary to what happens when players are released before June 1 but can be designated as free after June 1 for salary cap purposes, trades made before June 1 cannot be taken into account as transactions after that date.

The impact assumed by packers The salary cap would depend on when the deal happens, though according to, it could range from $40.3 million (before June 1) to $15.8 million (after June 1). In the post-June 1 scenario, packers they would have to assume $24.4 million within their cap for 2024.

That was the reason why the Atlanta Falcons they waited until June 6, 2021 to dispatch the receiver Julius Jones to the Tennessee Titans. This allowed Atlanta spread the dead money caused by jones between two salary caps, instead of one.

A source familiar with the contract believes that the best way to switch to Rodgersespecially before June 1st, would be for a player with a similar contract due to all the dead money involved, suggesting that a player of the stature of Russell Wilson would fit that description.

“The only viable way to deal him before June 1 is to trade him for another player with a bad contract,” the source said. “And that won’t happen.”

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How Aaron Rodgers’ contract limits the Packers’ options