Green Bay Packers quarterback Aaron Rodgers got himself a nice deal with his new contract. However, it’s not the exact deal that maybe he wanted.
Although he previously denied asking for an opt-out clause — or at least referred to it as conjecture — Rodgers admitted he asked for that on Thursday. He and his agent, David Dunn, also explored having Rodgers’ salary tied to a percentage of the salary cap.
Those were non-starters for the Packers.
“The number of players on the active roster and counting on the salary cap is definitely a hindrance to some of that stuff,” Rodgers said.
“There’s language in guaranteed contracts that needs to change in the next CBA in order for those to become more standard across the league or more opportunities for those. But there’s just not the movement in that area on franchise sides to want to do contracts that allow players to have more of the leverage that NBA players have. Instead, they would rather go traditional routes with the usual large signing bonuses prorated over the duration of the deal up to five years in order to minimize the cap hit in certain years. That’s the desired approach of teams, and there wasn’t a lot of wiggle room in that area.”
Clearly, that’s why these negotiations took so long. They began just after the season ended.
Ultimately, it appears Rodgers took a more traditional deal because he knew it was best for the team. He again referred to his relationship with the Packers as a partnership.
“As much as we were interested in the idea of a non-traditional, ultimately the most important thing is the Packers feel like this is a partnership and that I feel like it’s a partnership and we can get 19, 20 years and feel good about the relationship and the career that I had in Green Bay.”
Packers general manager Brian Gutekunst admitted that the traditional type of contract structure is what’s best for the Packers.
“This was about the Green Bay Packers and our team,” Gutekunst said. “The rest of the league wasn’t something I was concerned about at all. This was what’s best for us. And like I said, I think (chief negotiator) Russ (Ball) looked at all the options, went down every road to kind of see what would be best for us and the player, and I think we came to an agreement. Like I said, I think that was the ultimate case. I think this was a really good deal for both sides.”
Rodgers’ contract now takes him through the season in which he’ll turn 40. He’s said before he wants to play until he’s 40 and mentioned that again on Thursday.
So you’re stuck with Aaron Rodgers for six more years and maybe more. And I expect nothing less than six straight championships.