According to Ian Rapoport of NFL Network, the Packers have been actively trying to resolve the rift between them and their three-time NFL MVP quarterback and have even offered Rodgers a “significant, long-term contract extension” that would provide him with additional money and security for the future.
Rodgers, who turns 38 in December, is under contract with Green Bay through the 2023 season, but the Packers have paid out all of the guaranteed money on his current deal and could feasibly move on from him as early as the 2022 offseason if they believe 2020 first-round pick Jordan Love is ready to ascend to the starting quarterback job. An extension for Rodgers, though, would completely change their timeline with Love — and maybe even lead to his removal from the equation entirely.
Here’s what Rapoport said Monday on NFL Network about Rodgers and the Packers:
I think the Packers have done a lot of different things to try to make Aaron Rodgers happy, to try to get him to come back to them a little bit. They made a significant, long-term contract extension offer. The two sides have been negotiating, so it’s not like they’ve just been talking to themselves here. There’s certainly has been some engagement from Rodgers’ side. We know … that Rodgers has talked to several different players about joining him somewhere else. However, of course, the Packers have zero plans to trade him. The real question is can the two sides come together, agree on a contract extension and make everyone happy and move forward.
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Packers Offered a Top-Dollar Deal to Rodgers
Rapoport’s latest update isn’t even the first time in the past week we’ve heard about the Packers trying to throw more money at Rodgers. According to Bob McGinn of The Athletic, they offered to make Rodgers the NFL’s highest-paid quarterback in recent months, which would mean giving him more than the $45 million average annual salary that Patrick Mahomes receives as the current top-earning quarterback.
Rodgers’ current contract has an average annual value of $33.5 million after the extension he signed in 2018, putting him in a tie with Detroit’s Jared Goff as the fifth-highest-paid quarterback in the league. The next four above him are Seattle’s Russell Wilson ($35 million, extended in 2019), Houston’s Deshaun Watson ($39 million, extended in 2020), Dallas’ Dak Prescott ($42 million, extended in 2020) and Mahomes ($45 million, extended in 2020).
McGinn, however, wrote that Rodgers turned down the Packers’ top-dollar extension offer and implied their “fractured relationship” cannot be solved with money alone. So, while it is good that Rapoport is reporting that Rodgers’ camp has shown “some engagement” on contract talks, the situation appears to be more complicated than a simple price tag.
Would New Contract Fix Aaron Rodgers’ Frustrations?
A shiny new contract may look nice to those on the outside, but Rodgers’ issues don’t appear to be entirely related to his contract. As The Athletic’s Bob McGinn confirmed, Rodgers wants Gutekunst out as the Packers general manager.
The report from McGinn cites rumors that Rodgers went as far as mocking Gutekunst by referring to him as Jerry Krause, the former Chicago Bulls general manager. Krause is well-known for having a rift with NBA legend Michael Jordan, which is well-documented in ESPN’s “The Last Dance.”
Although a new deal would understandably be a positive in Green Bay’s push to keep Rodgers in town, there doesn’t appear to be anything that points to the quarterback having a change of heart currently.