Aaron Rodgers has officially confirmed that he is returning to the Green Bay Packers for the 2022 season, but he also wants to clear some things up about the “inaccurate” reports regarding his alleged new contract.
Rodgers took to Twitter on Tuesday afternoon to set the record straight on some of the reporting about his much-anticipated return to the Packers. While he is indeed coming back to Green Bay in 2022, he was clear that he has not yet signed a new contract with the Packers and dismissed the “supposed terms of the contract” as “inaccurate.”
Earlier in the day, Pat McAfee broke the news about Rodgers’ future when he tweeted that the back-to-back NFL MVP would be returning to play for the Packers in 2022. The inaccuracies evidently began, though, when NFL Network’s Ian Rapoport followed up with his own report that the Packers were signing Rodgers to a four-year contract extension worth $200 million with $153 million in guaranteed money.
A contract of that magnitude would make Rodgers the NFL’s new highest-paid player and would be in line with some of Rapoport and ESPN’s previous reporting about what Rodgers is seeking, but it is hard to dispute the man who is as close as they come to the negotiations. Through McAfee, Rodgers also previously said any insinuation that he is looking to get paid $50 million or more per year on his next deal is “categorically false.”
The good news about the inaccuracies is that Rodgers has spoken up and committed to returning the Packers for his 18th season. Unfortunately, it also means that the Packers cannot fully begin to tackle their salary-cap crisis until they have reached a new agreement with Rodgers to reduce his current cap hit of about $46.66 million.
The Packers are now projected to be more than $45 million over the cap for the 2022 season after placing a franchise tag on All-Pro wide receiver Davante Adams on Tuesday. They could also potentially add about $5 million more in costs over the next week as they make decisions on their exclusive rights and restricted free agents.
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How Much Will Rodgers Help Packers With Cap?
The groundwork has now been laid for a 2022 future with Rodgers at the helm in Green Bay. Now, the next step for the Packers is figuring out how to lower the cost of having their four-time NFL MVP on the payroll while also granting him the security he desires.
Obviously, the best route to accomplishing all of those things is signing Rodgers to an extension. His commitment to staying with the Packers all but assures he will eventually put pen to paper on a new deal, but will the overall cost be in the range of what Rapoport (incorrectly) reported or something more friendly for the salary cap?
There is also the matter of length. A four-year extension for Rodgers might be the preference of fans who still want to see Rodgers finish his career where he started, as it would take him a few years into his 40s, but he might be angling for something shorter if he wants the opportunity to explore his options again before he calls it quits. Don’t forget, Rodgers has also now weighed retirement in each of the past two offseasons and might not be looking to stay in the league as long as he once believed.
It is still technically possible for the two sides not to reach a new agreement and for Rodgers to play out the final year of his current contract in 2022 with unrestricted free agency in sight for 2023. The Packers would have to do an enormous amount of bookkeeping to find room for his current cap hit, though, which would most likely involve shedding a great deal of talent from last year’s roster.
Ultimately, if Rodgers wants to keep competing for championships with the Packers, the extension route makes too much sense for both sides.