Aaron Rodgers apparently cares about being the highest-paid player in the NFL. The Green Bay Packers apparently are being forced to care about that too.
The Packers, specifically GM Brian Gutekunst, were talking about wanting to sign Rodgers to an extension before both free agents Drew Brees and Kirk Cousins signed their new deals. Had that happened, the Packers likely would have saved a little money, as those contracts will reset the market in terms of annual — and in the case of Cousins — overall value.
But Rodgers isn’t having that. He is not going to give the Packers any sort of discount or take less money in order to allow the team to sign more players.
He’s waiting it out.
Update on the #Packers Aaron Rodgers contract extension. I heard it was extremely close. But a trusted source told me the two sides are simply talking and that Rodgers' extension is unlikely to be done until after the Kirk Cousins deal comes in. Which makes a lot of sense.
— Charles Robinson (@CharlesRobinson) March 3, 2018
The good news is the deal is essentially imminent. As soon as Cousins signs, then Rodgers and the Packers will top that deal and game over.
The bad news, if you want to look at that way, is Rodgers is doing the Packers no favors. Hell, he’s probably not doing some of his teammates, maybe even some of his close friends (Jordy Nelson, Randall Cobb?) any favors.
Yes, Rodgers deserves to be the highest-paid player in the game. That reduces the Packers’ financial flexibility, however. It reduces their ability to surround Rodgers with big-time players, i.e. veteran free agents. It reduces their ability to keep players with untenable contracts, such as Cobb and Nelson.
But every team overcommits to certain positions. Look at Seattle. They invested heavily in that defense for so many years that they couldn’t pay any offensive linemen. Because of that, their offensive line has recently been one of the worst in football.
Every team has to make these decisions of which positions to put their money in. You have to get lucky and have cheap draft picks that perform well throughout the roster. It’s what the NFL has become.
Should be an interesting offseason.