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Why Aaron Rodgers Should Avoid a Contract Extension

I just read where one of the big-time sports sites listed one of the Green Bay Packers’ top priorities for 2018 as extending Aaron Rodgers’ contract. I don’t think it will happen.

Why? Because Rodgers is smart, because he seems to like money as much as the next guy, and because he’s lost out before when he agreed to such an extension.

Back in 2013, Rodgers signed a five-year, $110 million deal that made him the highest-paid player in the NFL on an annual basis. That deal doesn’t run out until the end of the 2019 season.

In March of 2017, ESPN ran an article headlined “Aaron Rodgers is a victim of the NFL salary system…”. What they proceeded to describe is how the escalation in quarterback salaries has rendered Rodgers vastly underpaid. When that article was written, Rodgers – who is averaging $22 million per year, had already slipped down to the fifth-highest paid NFL quarterback – behind Andrew Luck, Drew Brees, Kirk Cousins, and Joe Flacco. Luck’s contract averages $24.6 million. It’s less than a year later, and all these quarterbacks already look like “victims.”

The current list of highest-paid NFL quarterbacks has a new top three: Jimmy Garoppolo, at an average of $27.5M; Matthew Stafford, at $27M; and Derek Carr, at $25M. Alex Smith, just traded to the Redskins – and a Rodgers’ rival of sorts going back to the 2005 draft – has also just moved ahead of Rodgers.

Jimmy G, backup to Tom Brady, has started seven games in his four-year career. Derek Carr has started all but two games in his four-year career with the Raiders. His win-loss record is 28-34. He’s never made first- or second-team All-Pro. His career passer rating is 87.9. Packers fans are familiar with Matt Stafford. He’s a fine passer, though he has never been named All-Pro in his nine years in the league. His career win-loss record as a starter is 60-65. This is crazy.

So, why would Aaron Rodgers extend his contract now, when he could be paid way down the road at 2017-18 prices?

The current top three players will soon be overwhelmed by a tsunami of new contracts. Kirk Cousins will hit the open market in a couple of weeks – the media is calling it the “Kirk Cousins sweepstakes” and Kirk will surely be going to a new team, as the Redskins just signed Alex Smith to be their new starter.

ESPN had five of their NFL analysts predict how the sweepstakes will go. Here’s what they think the offers will be: Browns, $33M average annual salary; Jets, $30M; Cardinals, $30M; Bills, $29.2M; Broncos, $29M; Vikings, $28M; Jaguars, $28M. ESPN predicts the winner will be the Jags, based mostly on the likelihood of winning right away, as well as Florida not having a state income tax.

Yes, the Vikings, who already have three highly-touted throwers, are said to be interested in acquiring Cousins. Cousins has a win-loss-tie record of 26-30-1. Crazy!

While Cousins is getting most of the ink, there’s another guy who is slated to become a free agent in less than three weeks. You’ve heard of Drew Brees?

Brees has already indicated that he will be a Saints player for life, so he’s unlikely to be going anywhere. His reason for delaying in reaching a contract is the same reason Aaron Rodgers should do so: to establish his worth on the open market.

Unlike these other QBs, Brees has a pretty fair resume: 140-102 win-loss totals, a career rating of 96.7, four times an All-Pro, 11 Pro Bowl invites, seven times the NFL passing leader – and he had a great year in 2017 – including in the playoffs.

Brees might sign papers prior to the March 14 opening of free agency, or he might test the market by waiting to see what other teams might offer. I’m sure Rodgers will be keeping track of the goings-on.

The next quarterback set to enter the big-money sweepstakes, along with Rodgers in 2019, is the Falcons’ Matt Ryan. In 2020, Russell Wilson, Ben Roethlisberger, and Tom Brady are up for contract renewal, and Cam Newton has to wait until 2021.

Strap yourselves up, it’s going to be a wild ride.

Rob Born

Smart drafters don’t select the best available players, they fill a team’s positions of greatest need.



  1. Cheese February 24, 2018

    So the 4 highest paid QB’s in the league haven’t even been to the Super Bowl, let alone won it?? And none of them even have MVP’s. Kirk Cousins is projected to make $30+ million a year?? Kirk FUCKING Cousins?? This is asinine. It’s starting to remind me of the NFL draft when 1st round picks would get paid more than most of the league without ever playing a single snap. Some of these GM’s are more desperate than a 40 year old virgin in a whore house.

    1. Kato February 25, 2018

      LMAO. 40 year old virgin in a whorehouse. Thats a great analogy

  2. MAMASBOY February 24, 2018

    Rogers showed his worth by not playing. Made millions more by being hurt and not throwing a single pass. I read an article that called Rogers the deodorant for the packers. Take him away and the Packers stink. How true! Our 2nd stringer was coached by McCarthy (and Van Pelt) for 3 years and was worthless. Rogers may have coached HIMSELF into a hall of fame career.

    1. Chiller February 25, 2018

      “The ‘D’ is silent”

  3. mike February 25, 2018

    Fine , don’t sign. Play out the rest of his contract and be franchised twice. At that point he will be 38 and his history record suggests he isnt going to be physically capable of playing into his 40s

  4. Kato February 25, 2018

    Cousins won’t be going to the jags now that they extended Bortles.

  5. Adam February 26, 2018

    The way the QB market has spun out of control these past few seasons, it doesn’t matter when he (or whoever) signs their next contract. The next QB up with a demand factor is going to trump it.

    Give him $30M guaranteed, someone will get $31M a few months later.

    The market is eventually going to have to correct itself because there’s no way this type of growth is sustainable, especially with declining revenue league-wide. I think when the next CBA talks come up, the owners are going to push for some type of max-contract structure similar to what the NBA has, and the players will probably strike unless they get guaranteed contracts in exchange.

  6. Savage57 February 26, 2018

    He signed a lucrative contract, which, while making him the highest paid player at the time, he knew full well would be overcome during it’s life. He’ll realize somewhere around $120M in earnings, $54M of which were fully guaranteed. The cap hits for ’18 and ’19 are north of $20M each year.

    He and the Packers went long. Stand pat until sometime in ’19. If the play continues to be at the level of today, step up and pay the fiddler, at that time. If his play slips, say your prayers for not being on the hook for another $100M and then pray the rest of the NFL GM’s go brain dead again in the ’19 or ’20 draft.

    1. PF4L February 26, 2018

      I hear what you’re saying, but rarely do NFL players like to stand pat. Right now, Rodgers holds all the leverage if he wants a deal now. Rodgers will be 35 this Dec. and this will be his last huge deal. The risk/reward of waiting to me, isn’t worth the benefit vs risk. Whatever deal he signs will probably have the biggest signing bonus and the most guaranteed money….ever. Not bad for a 35 year old QB.

      I’d be willing to bet talks are happening right now, but i’m guessing. They can do a lot with a new contract, making it longer to defer money, reducing cap hits, etc. Or just getting it done to get it done.

      But then we go back to what i bring up every once in awhile….how much money is enough for these guys? My guess is that when all is said and done, Rodgers will have pulled in over 200 million, just from football, then add in all the endorsements, probably 270 – 300 mill.

      I couldn’t even fathom having that much money, and i probably wouldn’t even want that much.