During a four-game losing streak that invited plenty of criticism from the outside and speculation about the status of key relationships and how the future could unfold for coach Mike McCarthy and G.M. Ted Thompson, Packers quarterback Aaron Rodgers said of PFT and me specifically, “Don’t waste your time reading crap like that.”
Here’s some crap he may want to read. And then forward to General Manager Ted Thompson, CEO Mark Murphy, and/or the full board of directors.
It’s time for Aaron Rodgers to once again be the highest paid player in football. A year ago, he was — based on the “new money” analysis used by agents to make contracts look better than they are, Rodgers was getting $22 million per year. Others have since leapfrogged him, including Colts quarterback Andrew Luck, whose annual average of more than $24 million is the current high-water mark.
Currently, Rodgers is due to earn an average of $18.55 million over the next three years. That needs to be torn up and thrown away.
Rodgers should be getting $25 million per year, or more. With only $6.65 million in cap dollars for 2017 arising from past money paid to Rodgers, the team should acknowledge the greatness they have witnessed in the past nine seasons (and, more specifically, the past eight weeks), reward it, and send a clear message that he’ll be the quarterback of the team as long as he wants to be.
Sure, Patriots quarterback Tom Brady routinely takes less than he’s worth. That’s his prerogative. Rodgers didn’t do a below-market deal the last time around, and he shouldn’t do one now. The publicly-owned team, which generated $408.7 million in total revenue and $49 million profit, can afford it, especially with the salary cap poised to spike to $170 million.
It’s clear that Rodgers is the biggest reason for the stunning reversal to a season that was teetering on being lost. No matter the players running the routes and catching the passes, Rodgers has made it work. The Packers now need to make the numbers work, as a matter of fairness to an underpaid player and as a sign of respect for a player whose talents have helped overcome plenty of organizational shortcomings in the six years since the last time the Packers made it to the Super Bowl.