Green Bay Packers quarterback Aaron Rodgers spoke to the media on Monday. It was the first time he’s done so since it was reported he wants a series of player options in his new contract.
The idea — unprecedented in the NFL — would allow Rodgers to opt-out of his deal at several points, so he could renegotiate. Thus, he could remain the highest-paid player in the NFL over the duration of the deal, something his vanity apparently requires.
That is, if the reports — Ian Rapoport has followed up Mike Garafolo’s original report — are true.
Rodgers was asked about it during his media availability. He wasn’t too keen on providing an answer.
“I don’t talk about it to the media, and I don’t think my agent is either,” Rodgers said. “A lot of it is just conjecture. Or stories that aren’t really based in factual interactions or misrepresented actions. I think that’s just part of it. It’s kind of a slow period for football right now and we’re heading into the summer, and there’s not much to talk about unless somebody gets arrested or injured in the offseason or something happens on the Fourth of July. That’s usually the stories we get now until training camp. I don’t have anything to report at this point, but I’m sure there will be some unnamed sources close to me that have some sort of scoop along the way.”
In other words, I will neither confirm nor deny these reports. And usually when someone fails to deny a report, that’s because it’s true.
The Packers have been working on an extension for Rodgers since the offseason began. They wanted it done months ago. When anyone talks to general manager Brian Gutekunst about the deal, he always says it will be done “soon.” He’s been singing that tune since February.
Clearly, the Packers weren’t quite prepared for Rodgers’ demands. If they were, the deal would already be done.
As it stands, Rodgers has two years left on his current deal. If push comes to shove, the Packers could let that run out and then use the franchise tag on Rodgers the next two years. Ultimately, they can control his rights for the next four seasons if they like.
We doubt it will come to that, but no one is doing anyone any favors at this point in negotiations.