GREEN BAY, Wis. — The contract extension that quarterback Aaron Rodgers signed with the Green Bay Packers suggests there’s a good chance they will be together for at least the next two seasons.
The deal signed Tuesday, a week after he announced he would return to the team after contemplating his future, is essentially a three-year, $150 million deal that also includes two voidable years in 2025 and 2026 that help for salary-cap purposes, according to a copy of the contract obtained by ESPN.
Rodgers, 38, had been on the books for a salary-cap charge of $46,144,156 million, but that figure has been reduced by about $18 million.
The reigning two-time league MVP will make $41.95 million this season, which is fully guaranteed in the form of a $40.8 million roster bonus (which will be treated as a signing bonus for salary-cap purposes) and a base salary of $1.15 million. His 2023 pay of $59.465 million is also guaranteed. In 2024, his $49.25 million is guaranteed only against injury at the time of signing.
If Rodgers plays only one season and then retires, gets released or is traded in 2023, the Packers would have to absorb at least $68 million in dead money (and up to $99.8 million if it occurred before June 1) — another sign that he intends to or has committed to playing at least two more seasons. In 2024, the dead money could be reduced to as low as $27.6 million.
A member of the Packers’ medical staff flew to see Rodgers over the weekend and administer the physical that is required before any contract is signed. Once that was completed, the deal was done.
The Packers were $21.2 million over the salary cap before Rodgers’ deal hit the books. Now, they’re close to getting under the cap, which they must be by Wednesday at 4 pm ET. They will need to make a few more moves, although one of them is not expected to involve Rodgers’ close friend, kicker Mason Crosby. A source said there has been no change in his status or contract despite a season in which he missed nine kicks. Crosby is scheduled to make $3.4 million with a cap charge of $4.735 million.
Rodgers’ return now puts backup quarterback Jordan Love’s future in question. General manager Brian Gutekunst’s decision to draft Love in 2020 cast doubt on Rodgers’ future with the team. Shortly after the Packers picked Love, Rodgers reiterated his desire to not only play into his 40s but to do it with the Packers. However, he said he realized that “may not be a reality at this point” and added, “I’m just not sure how that all works together at this point.”
Rodgers called his future a “beautiful mystery” late in the 2020 season and shortly after the Packers’ NFC Championship Game loss to the Tampa Bay Buccaneers included himself in a group of players with uncertain futures.
What followed was an offseason-long boycott — he missed workouts, organized team activities and minicamp — during which ESPN reported that Rodgers was so disgruntled with the Packers that he told some in the organization that he would never play for them again.
Upon his return to the team on the eve of training camp, Rodgers signed a restructured contract that eliminated the last year of his deal, for the 2023 season, making it easier for a divorce after the 2021 season.
Rodgers then broke Brett Favre’s franchise record of 442 career touchdown passes last season, finishing the season with 449. Rodgers now has a chance to break several of Favre’s other records, including career passing yards.