Crazy as it sounds, Rodgers took less


With the Packers sliding the announcement of the Aaron Rodgers contract extension into the late Friday afternoon pre-round two news dump, the transaction escaped full real-time scrutiny.

So here’s a little belated scrutiny.

While the deal indeed sounds impressive on the surface — five years, $110 million — the reality says more Rodgers’ selflessness than Tom Brady’s much-hyped “he took less!” deal said about his.

The $22 million annual average applies over the five years of the extension.  That’s the new-money average.  Tacking on the two years at $20 million that Rodgers was due to earn under his existing deal, it’s a seven-year, $130 million contract.

That’s an average of $18.5 million — well short of the $20.1 million high-water mark set by Ravens quarterback Joe Flacco last month.

Rodgers’ decision to expose himself to the petty “whose is bigger?” comparisons reflects a pragmatism that will help the Packers remain competitive, if of course they’re willing to spend their cap money.  Per a source with knowledge of the deal, Rodgers’ cap number never exceeds $21 million in any year of the contract.  In contrast, Flacco’s deal has cap numbers of $28.55 million in 2016, $31.15 million in 2017, and $24.75 million in 2018.

And while Brady’s deal includes much lower base salaries as of 2015, the goal in extending his deal was to reduce his cap numbers in 2013 and 2014.  The two sides will deal with 2015 when 2015 arrives.

Besides, Brady occupies a different phase of his career.  Rodgers, who still has not turned 30, will ride this contract through the decade.  And he’ll quite possibly earn and receive every penny of it.

Whether that’s $18.5 million per year or $20.1 million per year or $22 million per year or $50 million per year, Rodgers knows it’s enough, it’s fair, and it helps his team put enough players around him to keep the franchise competitive on a consistent basis.

69 responses to “Crazy as it sounds, Rodgers took less

  1. It’s a good deal for both sides. Now the Packers have to do their part and put together a decent offensive line so he can play the full 7 years. Aaron Rodgers is a great QB but he’s not a real big guy, a lot easier to bounce up in your 20’s than it is once you’ve been in the league for years and are in your 30’s. They got big running back who should help, day 2 they need to walk away with at least 2-3 lineman in their remaining 10 picks.

  2. It’s extremely front loaded which protects the cap in the long term. Of the $130 million, $40 million of it is being dished out in the first year. That leaves the remaining $90 million to be spread across the final 6 years which averages roughly $15 million per.

  3. Unless they tore up his existing deal and rewrote a whole new 7-year, $130 million contract, Rodgers is still making $22 mil per year starting in 2015.

    No need to try to spin it to make him look selfless…Those future cap hits aren’t gonna get any lower.

  4. The haters can say what you want but Rodgers is a pretty special player. He could have easily commanded to be the highest paid player and deserved it but he didnt. I know this will eat at some of you who were proclaiming he was going to be selfish (just about every Minny poster & Chitown) so how do you feel know? I know us in GB couldnt be happier.

  5. Oh, I feel much better the Rodgers that poor guys is only getting 18 + million a year. I hope he makes it in this cruel world?

  6. @larryboodry . . . That’s typically what happens. He gets $40M this year. He wasn’t getting that under the old deal.

  7. This makes no sense. Whether its now or later in his contract, Aaron Rodgers is going to make 130 million dollars by the end of it. That’s a lot of money.

  8. and people thought jerruh jones was a idiot for the tony romo fiasco.
    greenbay is the land of stupid, i mean other then the fudgepackers, wisconsin is know for cheese..ill let that soak in

  9. rodgers said it the last time he signed a contract extension, how much is too much. there is a reason his teamate’s took to twitter to congradulate him and thanking him for saving some the the rest. they know he could’ve took more. this was him getting a great deal without handcuffing the packers.

  10. Geb x Jay– must be a Bears or Vikings fan. Rodgers has a lot of class unlike some folks who attack him.

  11. $18 mil/year does go a long way in Chico, CA.

    Us Packers fans are pleased Aaron is in for the long haul.

    Today it’s Ted Thompson’s job to put the surrounding pieces into place.

    10 draft picks can get that job done.

  12. @larryboodry. Actually, the cap hit will get lower after this season. And if the salary cap goes up in two years, it’ll save even more money which is why GB pulled the trigger when they did. They had carried-over cap space from last year to use and they did this wisely.

  13. Mike its a lost cause explaining this to the likes of boodry and the flock of Viking whiners. Its easy to see by the initial posts how much this has upset the our fellow NFC north posters. gotta love it.

    Not to mention in two years this contract will look like a real bargain.

  14. Congrats to A.Rodgers. Great deal for HIM. In two years he can stop playing at 100%. No one can complain because he will be making less then most QBs. Plus he will be fat and happy. (wish we had a QB to pay)

  15. Legends like Rodgers and Brady get it – they don’t bleed out the golden goose by singularly maxing out the drain on their team’s (limited) cap, because it’ll hamper their ability to build the team around them. These guys want to win games, capture hardware and craft gold jacket legacies. Those two athletes are team players and assuredly both Canton-bound. They get it. These two could be facing off in any of the next 3-4 Super Bowls.

    Other guys like Flacco and Cutler who are on the other end of the spectrum. These are examples of QBs who leverage the crap out of their teams to milk every last drop of $ they can get. These guys will never be wearing Gold Jackets unless they pay for one, they don’t “get it” and I’ll be surprised if I ever see either ever play in a Super Bowl from this point moving forward.

    My team is not the Packers, Pats, Ravens or Bears – so no axe to grind. Just how I see it.

  16. pastabelly says: Apr 27, 2013 8:56 AM

    People will find any excuse to take shots at Tom Brady. Now he gets them when other guys sign $22M deals.


    Its because he has some against the Patriots. We you frequent the blog you know that. Why does Brady even have to be brought up in this story? Its like he goes outta his way to connect Brady to every QB story. Cowardly fellow he is. If you dont like the guy come out & say it. But he doesnt have a real reason, so he wont

  17. He “took less” because he’s still the highest paid player, AND the contract calls for him to make $40 million this season. Who is gonna turn down that?

  18. I still can’t believe a mediocre qb in Flacco got paid what he did.. selfishness will keep them in the bottom of the AFCN for years to come… stupid gms making terrible decisions

  19. I was really hoping that “Flacco is the highest paid player head line” will go away with Rodgers contract, but we’ll have to wait (likely for Ryan and/or Stafford).

    The difference in CAP numbers is Flacco had to reduce his number in the first few years (6.5 2013) in order for Ravens to field a competitive team this year. Having it distributed evenly, like Rodgers deal, would count 20M against the CAP. That works well for Packers situation, but doesn’t work for the Ravens this year.

  20. Oh give me a break, he’s not taking less. I guess if you average in the last 5 years’ salary he’s making less than his own backup right? What a swell guy? Just shuddap with all that talk, you just feel guilty about all that cancer autograph stuff so you’re trying to make up for it.

    This is an extension and is the richest contract in NFL history, the only difference is its being done now, where the other guys were closer to, or finished with their existing contract. Bottom line is you can’t say someone is taking “less” when they’re on their way to the bank with a $40 million check.

  21. It’s not even that great a contract. Then the Packers can’t have anymore. What good is that for any other team, especially the Vikings? Especially if it.

  22. jimmysee says: Apr 27, 2013 8:59 AM

    $18 mil/year does go a long way in Chico, CA.
    Yes it does jimmysee, but Rodgers lives in San Diego where you can buy a nice bank repo two bedroom condo for $1.5 million.

  23. So 40 mil first season, you people don’t see something wrong with that story?
    Like, how can they field players? How do they do that? Are the NFL players going to be paid like baseball and basketball players now? Any idea what that’s gonna do to the league? Its gonna crash it. The economy is worse now because there is so many millionaires the dollar is worth less, but who cares right, he is the best in the league, even though Eli has two rings, Brady has three rings, and AP was MVP.
    Green Bay way over paid, and the fans will pay for that eventually. By way of sales and tickets.

  24. “… the reality says more Rodgers’ selflessness than Tom Brady’s much-hyped “he took less!” deal said about his.”

    On what planet? I don’t care how much money Brady had sitting in the bank, or how you rationalize it, Brady took a 3-year deal for $27M. At $9M per year, based on recent contracts, he left roughly $10M PER YEAR on the table, and probably more had he jumped ship. No matter how you want to spin that, it was at least $30M in REAL money over the next three years. THAT is A LOT more selfless. I would like to see any of you give up $30M+.

  25. suckerpunch3531 says:
    Apr 27, 2013 8:51 AM
    and people thought jerruh jones was a idiot for the tony romo fiasco.
    greenbay is the land of stupid, i mean other then the fudgepackers, wisconsin is know for cheese..ill let that soak in

    Yes – so stupid that they’ve survived in the largest sport in the United States while being a town of 100,000 people. So stupid and horrible when it comes to the NFL, paying player and the draft that they’ve had exactly 2 losing seasons in the last 21 years.

    That’s a GENERATION. Guys who played when the streak started, their son could be on this team today and that team would have had only 2 losing seasons inbetween.

    I’ll let that soak in.

  26. All of these contracts are going to be reworked/restructured so it really doesnt matter as far as breaking down future years. All of the QBs mentioned are all champions so the teams and the respective GMs must be doing something right. Let them worry about the money. Lets all of us worry about our teams winning football games.

  27. Rodgers surely could have gotten more money but I would like to think that he was smart enough to know that he needs talent around him if his team is to be successful.

  28. This is very bad news for the Viking trolls who like to put forth their vast football knowledge by complaining about any thing related to the Packers.

    They would love to give advice to their own GM but what is the true market value of a Qb who can’t throw 20 yards downfield and ranks in the bottom 25% of all starting qbs? But wait, their 2nd string Qb is so highly regarded that Tony Dungy predicted on national TV that he would lead the Vikings to a playoff victory.

  29. Funny you Packers fans forget that Ponder put one on you in week 17 in a game you that could’ve secured home-field advantage for the Playoffs. How’d that work out for you guys on the road in SF again?? Greg Jennings said it best when he said he’d rather play for a team on the rise, than a team on the decline.

  30. do you think signing clay and aaron together was coincidence. I’m guessing it was some sort of package deal between the two of them…

  31. Whatever way you look at it, the Packers just locked up the NFC north through 2019, and probably bought tho or three more lombardis.

    The bears may compete one or two of those years, but the Vikings and lions will put on a fierce battle for 4th place. They’ve each had their fluke season in the last two years.

  32. ad2k13 – way to spin what Greg Jennings said. He never said ‘I’d rather play for a team on the rise, than a team on the decline.’

    He said I picked the Vikings because I see a team on the rise. H never said I’d rather play for them or that GB was on the decline.

  33. Losers, here is how you win in the nfl, get the best talent surrounding your starters, hire the best coaches to teach a game plan, provide an affordable atmosphere for your fans to cheer your players on, with forty mil a season, how can you fill your stands? The cheese is curdling, Rodgers is the cash cow, arrogant enough to think that even though Marino never won, without a talented team, he thinks he can. They just took three steps backwards.

  34. Historically Ted Thompson built the Packers into consistent SB contenders by doing what he’s doing in this draft trading down so he has 12-13 picks. Some of the guys don’t work out but several finds in the middle rounds do. The last couple years he got away from it this year he’s back to doing what he did his first few years as Packers GM.

  35. Yeah… its virtually impossible to kill the guy on this deal. I know many will try, but you are just grasping and that is pathetic. I’m a “what is, is” kind of guy and Rodgers did far more for his team, with this contract, than Brady and definitely Flacco. As said before, it is his choice, but he actually deserved the money, Flacco isn’t anywhere close to what Rodgers, nor Brady does at QB. This is a team friendly contract that will continue to help the Packer’s remain competitive.

  36. It blows my mind that we live in a world where many teachers make $30K annually and we look at an athlete making $20mil as “selfless.”

    That said, Aaron Rodgers is a monster, and is exactly the kind of guy you want to build your franchise around.

  37. it’s front loaded, mike. $40 million for one year is not my definition of “less.” it’s just the way it’s structured. i wouldn’t exactly call that “selfless.”

  38. That’s great, but if they don’t fix that O line he won’t make it through the 1st year. He’s been sacked more than any other currant QB, and has a history of bad concusions. LOOK OUT, shAaron, here comes SHARIFFE FLOYD!

  39. farvite says: Apr 27, 2013 12:24 PM

    Inept cap management by the Pack this year.

    Absurd that they went into an offseason having to sign their two best players.

    They didn’t have to; it was highly logical to. Matthews was still under contract for this year, and Rodgers was under contract for the next two.

    This allows the Packers to spread that guaranteed money over more seasons, thus cushioning the cap hit. If anything, once the Ponders of the NFL start making $20+ million per year, that’s when you are going to see teams in cap trouble.

    The Packers are actually extremely smart to do what they just did. In fact, it’s borderline genius. These guys were going to get their money, and this was easily the best way to distribute it to them.

  40. What Aaron doesn’t realize is now how much pressure he is under to win….if he doesn’t, Packer fans will turn on him just like they did the greatest quarterback in their franchise history.

  41. dcviking says:
    Apr 27, 2013 1:39 PM
    What Aaron doesn’t realize is now how much pressure he is under to win….if he doesn’t, Packer fans will turn on him just like they did the greatest quarterback in their franchise history.

    Packer fans NEVER turned their back on Bart Starr.

    He is the greatest QB in Packer history and possibly the league.

    Only QB with 5 championships. One ring for each finger of his throwing hand….

  42. Where do the Packers, a non-profit community “owned” team get all this money?
    Why do they make themselves look like they are broke when they make claims of having to raise money for stadium upgrades?
    “If you don’t buy this worthless piece of paper, we won’t be able to do worthless upgrades to Lambeau.”

  43. “Worthless upgrades to Lambeau” – ?

    Yeah, creating jobs for local construction workers – updating a historical stadium so we can continue hosting games there, creating more seats and what not in order to bring more revenue to a community owned team….

    Totally worthless upgrades to Lambeau Field.

  44. The expansion at Lambeau is phenomenal. So is Rodgers’ creative acceptance of a very good contract. The Packers are the team by which the Vikings must measure themselves….same goes for the fans. The fact is….neither of them will ever know what we know or have what we have. Read it and weep haters.

  45. I love how this is spun. You can take a statistical argument and wrap it around any concept you want. This was never about how much he gets paid compared to other quarterbacks. It’s about how much those guys make at the expense of the team.

    And only Packer fans would watch Rodgers get a 130 million contract and think it’s not enough…

  46. Vike fan thinks this contract is gonna hurt the Packers?? Don’t you have the highest paid running back in the league at over 100 mil? Yea, 100 mil and your best player touches the ball every play… he doesn’t.

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