Falcons quarterback Matt Ryan has set a new bar when it comes to every relevant contract metric — new money, total value, real guarantees, cash flow, etc. So what does that mean for the next man up, Packers quarterback Aaron Rodgers?
Glad you asked. Even if you didn’t.
Rodgers has two years left on his current contract, at a total payout of $42 million (including workout and per-game roster bonuses). His challenge will be to get the Packers to disregard or downplay those numbers and to negotiate a deal from scratch. This will make a short-term deal like Vikings quarterback Kirk Cousins‘ three-year, $84 million deal less practical, since it would give the team only one more year of certainty. And so the structure will more likely resemble the six-year, $169.25 million deal (with a real guarantee of $100 million) signed by Ryan.
So what will Rodgers want? Six years, $170 million? Six years, $175 million? $180 million?
Ryan is the first guy to get to $30 million in new money; maybe Rodgers will want to be the first guy to get to $30 million in total value at signing. A six-year, $180 million contract would do that.
With roughly 60 percent of Ryan’s contract fully guaranteed at signing, a $180 million contract for Rodgers would mean that at least $108 million would be fully guaranteed at signing.
Assuming that Rodgers can get a straight $30 million average at signing, that would result in a much higher new-money average. He’d be getting $138 million over four years on top of what he’s already due to earn. That’s an average of $34.5 million in new money.
If that happens (and that’s still a relatively large “if”), it will mean that the top of the market has moved a full $10 million in less than a year, with Andrew Luck‘s $24.5 million bumped by Derek Carr‘s $25 million bumped by Matthew Stafford‘s $27 million bumped by Jimmy Garoppolo‘s $27.5 million bumped by Cousins’ $28 million bumped by Ryan and then by Rodgers.
Whatever Rodgers eventually gets, the Ryan deal set the floor. The only question is how high the ceiling goes once Rodgers puts his name on the bottom line.