The Packers are spending year-end money like a rich dude planning his 2018 taxes. But they’ve yet to cut a new check to the most important player on the roster, perhaps in the league.
Aaron Rodgers still has two seasons left on a grossly subpar contract that pays $22 million per year. Four clearly lesser players — Matthew Stafford ($27 million), Derek Carr ($25 million), Andrew Luck ($24.5 million), and Joe Flacco ($22.1 million) — already make more than Rodgers.
It’s been that way for months, and the Packers have shown no inclination to fix it. They need to.
Rodgers, to his credit, hasn’t publicly complained about his contract, beyond pointing out when Mike Glennon got $15 million per year from the Bears that this investment makes a re-examination of Rodgers’ financial package necessary. He has stopped short of pointing out the inequity of his deal, possibly because doing so would attract attention to his decision to commit to the Packers in 2013 through 2019, without accounting for inevitable spikes in the salary cap or the quarterback market.
Both have occurred, making Rodgers’ contract even more glaring. Soon, guys like Kirk Cousins and Jimmy Garoppolo will push the bar even higher, nudging Rodgers even lower on the list of highest-paid quarterbacks.
Ian Rapoport of NFL Media says that a new contract for Rodgers is now the top offseason priority for the Packers. If that’s true, it shouldn’t take long to work something out. Offer him $30 million per year, guarantee the first three years of it in full, and get it signed before midnight on Sunday if that will help Cheesehead, Inc. with its tax planning for the looming new year.