A new contract for Aaron Rodgers has been finalized.
On Tuesday, NFL Network’s Ian Rapoport and Tom Pelissero reported the signing of Rodgers’ new contract, citing anonymous sources knowledgeable with the matter. The team didn’t officially announce the signing until later.
A new four-year deal arrangement was part of the incentive for Rodgers to return to Green Bay, making the two-time MVP the highest-paid player in the NFL annually.
After negotiating for a week, Rodgers and the Packers settled on an annual average salary of $50 million for the first three years of his contract. Rapoport also noted that there are two cap placeholders in the deal’s final section that could be revised later.
“We are very pleased to have been able to come to an agreement with Aaron that keeps him in Green Bay,” said Packers general manager Brian Gutekunst in a statement. His on-field play and locker room leadership are both crucial to the team’s chances of repeating as Super Bowl champions. We’re able to keep and develop an already formidable team thanks to this agreement.
In 2022, Rodgers’ salary was expected to be $46.664M, including a base income of $26.47M. The new deal will increase his pay this year while decreasing his cap hit.
Pelissero projects that Green Bay’s quarterback will earn $42 million in 2022, $59.515 million in 2023, and $49.3 million in 2024, for a total of $150.815 million over the three years.
After three years, at age 41, Rodgers will either have the option to retire or negotiate new terms with the Packers.
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With the cap room created by the new contract, the Packers can continue to compete for a Super Bowl despite Rodgers’ salary dropping to $28.5 million in 2022 (from an estimated $42.5 million).
In order to make moves in free agency, the Packers made last-minute alterations to get under the salary cap. Green Bay cut Za’Darius Smith and Billy Turner while re-signing Aaron Rodgers and Preston Smith at reduced cap figures for the upcoming season. About $45 million of capital has been unlocked as a result of the adjustments.
Green Bay had to shift Rodgers’ hefty cap hits into the future if they wanted to pay the back-to-back MVP the raise he deserved while still keeping the NFC North champions’ squad essentially intact. The Packers will be worried about the eventual bill, especially if the salary cap increases significantly.