Aaron Rodgers contract details: Why Packers QB may have played last game in Green Bay

Aaron Rodgers stayed away from the Packers during the 2021 NFL offseason and was hoping to be traded. He wanted a fresh start because the Packers didn’t allow him a say in things that directly affected his job.

The Packers had also selected quarterback Jordan Love in the first round of the 2020 NFL Draft, so Rodgers felt the organization’s signal confirmed that a split was looming for the two sides. So, he thought, why not speed it up?

“Like I thought, ‘if you can’t commit to me beyond 2021, and I’m not part of the recruiting process in free agency, if I’m not part of the future, instead of letting me be a lame-Duck quarterback, if you want to take a chance and go ahead, go ahead and do it,'” Rodgers said at a news conference after his return to the team.

The Packers, however, wanted to keep Rodgers, and that caused a dispute between the two sides. It lasted most of the offseason, but eventually the two sides agreed on a revised contract that will keep Rodgers in Green Bay through at least 2021.

However, things get a bit more complicated beyond that. And Rodgers’ immediate future is in question after the Packers were eliminated by the 49ers in a 13-10 loss during the divisional round of the 2022 NFL playoffs.

What is Aaron Rodgers’ contract like now? And what is his future with the Packers? Here’s a breakdown of what Green Bay’s revised deal with Rodgers means for his future as the Packers enter the 2022 offseason.

Aaron Rodgers contract details

Rodgers just finished the second year of a . Rodgers agreed to the deal in 2018, but the terms of the new contract did not take effect until 2020. Thus, there were three years left on Rodgers’ contract before the 2021 season.

However, the deal is now a year shorter. Rodgers renegotiated his contract and made the 2023 season a “blank year”. This has become an increasingly popular way for teams to free up cap space by deferring player payments to future years.

NFL Network’s Tom Pelissero reported that Rodgers will earn about $50 million in the last two years of his contract. The renegotiation with the Packers added no new money to Rodgers’ contract.

Year full value
2021 $22.4 million
2022 $26.9 million

However, Pelissero also reports that the final year of Rodgers’ contract is voided on the seventh day before the 2023 league year, which typically begins in March before free agency. That’s one day after the franchise tag deadline, which means Rodgers can’t receive a franchise tag in 2023; he’ll technically be under contract before that window closes.

As such, Rodgers will be a true free agent in 2023 at the latest. That would be before his 40-year-old season. However, this deal could also force the Packers to drop Rodgers during the 2022 NFL offseason, depending on how things play out.

Why the Packers could leave Aaron Rodgers behind in 2022

There’s nothing specifically compelling the Packers to let Rodgers go this offseason, but Rodgers’ salary cap and Love’s presence could be important here.

Love will enter the third year of his four-year rookie deal in 2022. Teams can choose whether to exercise a fifth-year option on first-round picks, so the Packers technically have three years of control over Love going into 2022.

That said, the Packers may want to see Love as a starter to see if he’s worth signing an extension. If they wait too long to evaluate Love, they could risk him entering free agency with a small sample of games played. That would make it difficult to give Love a solid rating.

The urge to play Love may not be the biggest factor in a breakup with Rodgers. The veteran quarterback’s contract restructuring has caused his cap to skyrocket to a whopping $46.1 million in 2022, per spotrac.com. That would eat up more than 20 percent of the team’s salary cap space and is already projected to be $40.1 million over the salary cap, in 2022 per OverTheCap.com.

Cutting or trading Rodgers would result in a $26.8 million dead hit, but would also free up $19.9 million in cap space. If the Packers are ready to give Love a chance, that extra cap space could allow them to trim their excess spending without shedding, or restructuring deals, too many team weapons.

It would also represent the last chance for the Packers to get a return on their investment in Rodgers. The team should probably dump him for the capital draft in 2022 unless they’re confident they can win a Super Bowl in 2022. And since the Packers haven’t made it to the Super Bowl since winning it in 2011, it may be time for both sides. to start again.

Rodgers seemed to believe that 2021 was his “last dance” with the Packers. He posted it on Instagram shortly after his return to the Packers.

“I think we all know what’s at stake,” Rodgers said in late August, according to ProFootballTalk. “I talked about that a little bit the other day about perspective and how important that perspective is to focus on this season and get the most out of this season, because there are a lot of unknowns.”

He also acknowledged that the Packers would struggle to go under the cap in 2022 while retaining their talent, including Packers wide receiver Davante Adams.

“They went through some hurdles to get under the cap this year,” Rodgers said. “Obviously the cap is expected to go up again next year, but you never know. So we’re going to enjoy this season. It’s Title Town. It’s championship or disappointment.”

It ended up being the last thing for Rodgers in 2021. Now he and the Packers enter a critical offseason that will determine what their futures look like.

And Rodgers still isn’t sure what he’ll do next season.

“I’m going to take some time and talk to people here, and then I’m going to take time and make a decision, obviously before free agency,” Rodgers told reporters after the Packers lost to the 49ers.

“I don’t want to be part of a rebuild if I’m going to keep playing,” he added.