The wait is finally over. The decision has been made and the Green Bay Packers will keep their franchise quarterback, Aaron Rodgers, for the foreseeable future. The 38 year old signal caller signed a four year, $200MM contract including $153MM guaranteed, setting a record for the biggest contract any player has signed in NFL history.
Over the last year, rumblings of Aaron Rodgers wanting out of Green Bay were spread throughout the league, beginning with his speech after winning the NFL MVP in 2020 and really exploding at the 2021 NFL Draft when Adam Schefter reported on the rift between Rodgers and the Packers. Rodgers did not attend OTAs or mini-camp that summer but arrived for the official start of training camp and aired his grievances in an eye opening press conference.
Through the course of last season, it was becoming clearer that Packers GM Brian Gutekunst was mending the relationship with Rodgers and taking his concerns seriously. On the field, Rodgers continued his excellent play, winning a second straight NFL MVP award and the fourth in his career.
Rodgers said he would take some time to make a decision and he decided to stay with the only franchise he's ever known, the Green Bay Packers.
The Packers have a lot of work to do to get under the salary cap. This extension is going to lower his 2022 cap hit, but they still have to figure out how to fit Rodgers' favorite receiver, Davante Adams, into the salary cap and likely sign him to an extension. Prior to the Rodgers extension, the Packers were nearly $30MM over the cap still with only a few more days to get under it.
While there are still many questions that will have to be answered about how to fit under the salary cap and keep several key players in order to remain a competitive team next year, one of the biggest questions for the Packers now is what to do with Jordan Love. The Packers drafted Love in the first round in 2020, which seemed to start this whole saga, and now with the Packers committing to Rodgers for another four years, Love is going to be a free agent before he ever gets a chance to start.
Of course with Rodgers playing at an MVP level the past two seasons, moving on from Love as the backup is likely less about Love's ability to play quarterback and more about Rodgers just being that great.
This offseason is just kicking off for the Packers. There are going to be a lot more moves and changes over the coming weeks before we even get to the NFL Draft. Now that the Packers have their quarterback in place and they know his cap hit, they can move forward with the rest of their free agents at the other positions and maneuver their way under the salary cap.