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Like last year, the question of whether Aaron Rodgers will play for the Packers, or anyone, in 2022 will hover over the franchise. Unlike last year, an answer is coming sooner than later.
Rodgers has said that he’ll figure things out before the start of free agency. Although he technically won’t be a free agent (for some reason, he didn’t demand when he decided not to retire in July 2021 a revised contract that guaranteed him a path to the open market in 2022), nothing stops him from asking to be traded. That request needs to come quickly, so that Rodgers can find a landing spot before a team for which he’d like to play makes other plans.
As mentioned on Monday’s #PFTPM and Tuesday’s PFT Live, there’s an easy way to end all of this, immediately. If the Packers want to keep him, they need to offer him a major contract that fully guarantees at least two years of compensation, at or beyond the top of the market.
Rodgers currently gets paid a much as Jared Freaking Goff. If the Packers were to offer, say, a two-year, $100 million contract, how could Rodgers say no? It’s a tremendous payday, but it’s not grossly out of line with the market. It compensates him for future services, and it rewards him for a pair of MVP seasons played at an average rate of $33.5 million annually.
Please, don’t start with the salary cap stuff. The cap is invoked by those who don’t want to spend the money, or who can’t or won’t figure out how to deal creatively with the money.
Besides, there’s no owner in Green Bay who needs to siphon cash for, buy or maintain a superyacht. The team is publicly owned. The books are wide open. Rodgers knows what they can pay. And they can pay even more than they’ve been paying him, after a few months of selling money-for-nothing non-stock stock.
It’s simple. Two years. $100 million. Fully guaranteed. Absent an offer in that general ballpark, made by the Packers without Rodgers having to ask for it, maybe he’ll have his answer regarding whether the team really wants to keep him around.
They can say they want to keep him around, because they don’t want to be blamed for Rodgers leaving. But if they truly want to keep him around, they’re smart enough to know what will get it done, and what will end the drama.
Will they? We’ll see.
Packers could end this year’s Aaron Rodgers drama quickly, if they want to originally appeared on Pro Football Talk