Details Emerge on Aaron Rodgers’ Expected Decision: Report

ARodgers Decision Date

Getty Aaron Rodgers #12 of the Green Bay Packers smiles during warms up prior to the start of the game aganist the Detroit Lions at Ford Field on December 29, 2019 in Detroit, Michigan.

The Green Bay Packers could be getting an answer to their biggest offseason question — Aaron Rodgers — in the next few days.

According to NFL insider Mike Silver, Rodgers is “likely” to inform the Packers whether he wants to return for next season by the afternoon of Tuesday, March 8, which is also when the league’s deadline is set for teams to place franchise tags on eligible players.

While Rodgers doesn’t fall into that category, the tag deadline could play an important role in his decision-making process. The Packers are currently weighing whether to use the tag on All-Pro wide receiver Davante Adams, who is a close friend of Rodgers and has been his top passing target for years. Adams staying in Green Bay could help incentivize Rodgers, but his departure might also add another reason to leave.

The Packers will have to decide whether to tag Adams before 4 p.m. ET on Tuesday.

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Rodgers’ Decision Will Provide Clarity on 2022 Plans

What Rodgers decides to do with his future has been a question hanging over the Packers since their season ended in January. He could choose to stay in Green Bay for next season and beyond, but it is almost certain he would want a new contract — one that would give him more control over his future while also allowing the Packers to reduce his massive cap hit for the 2022 season.

If a new deal isn’t struck, Rodgers can essentially pick three options: request a trade to another team, retire from the NFL or force the Packers to keep him on his current deal — which would likely get a basic restructure — so he can take full control of his future as a free agent in 2023. Whatever happens, Rodgers is absolutely the domino the Packers need to fall before the rest of them can.

The biggest constraint at the moment is cap space. After restructuring the deals of Kenny Clark, Aaron Jones and David Bakhtiari to free up about $23.2 million in cap space, the Packers still have roughly $29.8 million to clear off their books before the new league year begins at 4 p.m. ET on March 16, per cap specialist Ken Ingalls.

Once the Rodgers component is figured out, the rest of the work can begin. The Packers will have to decide which of their expensive veterans to cut for space with names such as Za’Darius Smith, Preston Smith, Randall Cobb and Mason Crobsy all in the running to be cap casualties. There are also players to consider for extensions, namely All-Pro cornerback Jaire Alexander, who will be on a fifth-year option in 2022.

Rodgers Said to Be ‘Truly Torn’ About Decision

For the past few weeks, all signs have seemed to point toward Rodgers and the Packers sticking together in 2022. The Packers have repeatedly stated their intentions to have him back as their starting quarterback in 2022, while Rodgers has only said positive things about the organization in his public appearances since the season ended.

Apparently, though, Rodgers is still conflicted about what he wants to do.

According to Ian Rapoport of NFL Network, Rodgers remains “truly torn” about where he wants to play in 2022 despite “lots of positivity” in Green Bay that he will be back. He mentioned that Rodgers and the Packers have been negotiating a possible extension, but he also added he has been “back and forth” and could take until free agency to make a decision.

There have also been a few conflicting reports about trade offers made for Rodgers. on Friday evening, Mike Florio of NBC’s Pro Football Talk wrote that “Rodgers has specific deals line up with other teams — and those teams have trade compensation lined up with the Packers” in the event he wants to be traded. That report was later disputed, though, by The Athletic’s Packers insider, Matt Schneidman.

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