Andrew Brandt used to negotiate contracts for the Green Bay Packers, so he knows a thing or two about the subject. He’s also close friends with quarterback Aaron Rodgers, so he knows something about that guy too.
The Packers have been talking about extending Rodgers’ current contract all offseason. The current deal started in 2013 and still has two more years left on it. Nonetheless, the Packers want to take care of their best player, who is now vastly underpaid by quarterback standards. Rodgers’ current deal averages $22 million per season. However, he’s been surpassed in average salary by guys like Matthew Stafford, Matt Ryan and certain Hall of Famer Kirk Cousins.
It’s clear why the Packers want to get the deal done now. With two years left on his current deal, they can spread whatever gigantic sum Rodgers receives over those two years. It lessens the hit for the Packers.
Rodgers, meanwhile, has reportedly been asking for some interesting provisions. Notably, player options, meaning if Rodgers opted out of the deal, he could renegotiate for a higher rate.
Brandt says Rodgers would be better off waiting a year for a new deal.
The positive for the Packers is the negative for Rodgers — the two years left on the current deal.
… while the best player—and one of the best people—in the sport has some leverage due to his extraordinary value, it is the Packers—not Rodgers—who ultimately hold the cards with two years remaining on the existing contract.
Whatever deal he signs now will be, in my mind, inferior to what he would sign at this time next year, and vastly inferior to the one he would sign two years from now, franchise tag or not.
This explains precisely why the Packers have been saying this deal would be done “soon” all offseason. They want it to be. Meanwhile, Rodgers seems in no hurry to do anything.
At this point, it really appears negotiations are far apart. If Rodgers is going to give up a bigger deal a year from now or two years from now, then why not ask for something like a series of player options?
Good article Joseph.
There are many different layers to this situation. Brandt hit’s on most of them. I won’t pretend to know 1/10th of what Brandt knows. But two things come to mind when i read Brandt’s recommendation of Rodgers waiting another year. Rodgers can sign a straight up contract with huge average money, and huge guaranteed money until he’s forty. If he waits another year when he has a “little” more leverage, there are risk’s involved with that. Many things can happen, another season ending injury, a down year like 2015 when he didn’t have Jordy Nelson, etc. Under those scenarios, you can almost hear it already…Rodgers is getting old…Rodgers is injury prone, etc. So waiting…does carry some risk.
Also, Rodgers alleged demand for ground breaking escalators keeping him the highest paid QB. My guess, and it is only my guess, is that isn’t even what Rodgers is after. I believe he may want an out clause, possibly annually. this is based on nothing but a gut feeling. Although if he were to get this, it could/would reduce his guaranteed money.
IM wondering if there is more friction between Rodgers and the Packers than either party would admit too, or acknowledge.
Good post. Didn’t even consider the fact it is possible that his value could drop. I doubt it, but another shoulder or arm injury, or shit, even a knee injury early in the year.
What do you think the chances of Rodgers not playing a single snap in the preseason are if he doesnt get a new contract?
Why is he taking this long to accept the veteran minimum plus a few per-game incentives?