Another quarterback has busted the $20 million annual barrier. And perhaps the best quarterback in the game is making roughly half that amount.
In 2008, Packers quarterback Aaron Rodgers signed a six-year, $63.5 million contract. Structured to keep the cap hits close to the annual compensation, the pay-as-you-go deal has Rodgers earning a base salary of $9.25 million and a roster bonus of $500,000 in 2013, for a cap hit of $9.75 million, via spotrac.com.
In 2014, Rodgers’ salary moves to $10.5 million with another $500,000 roster bonus. The cap charge is $11 million.
So with Saints quarterback Drew Brees and Ravens quarterback Joe Flacco exceeding $20 million per year and Broncos quarterback Peyton Manning soon to unlock $40 million guaranteed over two years, why haven’t the Packers adjusted the compensation given to the 2011 NFL MVP and the Super Bowl XLV MVP?
To his credit, Rodgers has not griped publicly about his situation. The fact that he won’t clamor for a new deal coupled with the reality that his cap number isn’t pushing the Packers to seek relief means gives him little leverage — and in turn gives the Packers little reason to rip up his current contract, unlike the three quarterbacks currently in line for new deals.
In many ways, Rodgers deserves more credit than St. Thomas of San Mateo, who took less while actually getting more. Rodgers is getting less, he’s not complaining, and he has borne the risk of injury for two seasons at a total payout of $15.25 million.
On one hand Rodgers’ position can be explained by a desire to leave enough cap space behind to allow the Packers to sign other players. On the other hand, the Packers aren’t exactly known for splurging.
Ironic. With so many teams tying up so much cap space in their quarterback, preventing them from using it on other players, the team that doesn’t spend it on other players doesn’t even have eight figures in 2013 cap space devoted to one of the best quarterbacks in football.
It’ll change in two years, at the latest. In fairness to Rodgers, it needs to change sooner.