Aaron Rodgers: NFL stars don’t have the leverage NBA stars have

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Last month LeBron James, the best player in the NBA, left the Cavaliers and signed a four-year deal with the Lakers that will pay him $38.5 million a year. This week Aaron Rodgers, arguably the best player in the NFL, re-signed with the Packers on a six-year deal that will pay him $29 million a year.

Why can’t the top player in the NFL make the kind of money the top player in the NBA can? There are many reasons, but Rodgers said a big one is that NFL players just don’t have the same kind of leverage as NBA players.

Although Rodgers had been hoping to get a contract that would allow him to opt out or tie his salary to a percentage of the salary cap, he said that kind of deal doesn’t happen in the NFL.

“I don’t think the NFL is ready for those type of contracts,” he said. “There’s language that need to change for those to become more standard, but there just isn’t the movement in that area on franchise side to do contract that allow players to have more of the leverage that NBA players have. Instead they would rather go traditional routes with large signing bonuses and prorate that over 5 years in order to minimize cap hits. That’s the desired approach and there wasn’t a lot of wiggle room in that area.”

Perhaps if Rodgers had held out and told the Packers, “Give me the contract I want or I’m retiring,” he could have persuaded the Packers to give him the kind of contract terms that NFL players previously haven’t been able to receive. But Rodgers played ball with the Packers, and signed on to play ball for the Packers for six more years.

98 responses to “Aaron Rodgers: NFL stars don’t have the leverage NBA stars have

  1. As a close friend of the organization the roster sizes are different, the fanbase sizes are different and they way people root for franchises is different.

    It’s an apple and oranges debate.

    Aaron has been drinking too much Caymus since his new deal, it seems.

  2. 17,253,425 – 2017 nfl attendance

    21,997,412 – 2017 nba attendance

    Now… Compare roster size and injury rates.

  3. MAN your ego knows no Bounds…… wouldn’t take a discount double check huh? then the receivers were screwing up mega negotiations.. loser!@!!

  4. 53 man rosters in the NFL and a 16 game season, how many games does the NBA play, and with how many on the roster….. apples and oranges….

  5. Good god, this guy just signed the biggest contract in NFL history and he is already whining about it!

  6. 53 man rosters, with the talent level in the lower half barely above the free agents.

    Between the bottom tier players who are easily replaceable, and the knuckleheads who make a lot of money but don’t save a dime, there’s far too many players who can’t afford to miss game checks to strike so that Aaron can make 35 million a year instead of 29.

  7. NFL players don’t have leverage because the sport demands a 53-man roster. Basketball has 15. Baseball 25. Of that 53-man roster, about 25 of them are starters. Basketball has 5 starters, baseball 9.

    The pie just has to get split up to too many players with too many variables (injury, depleted skills, etc.) to justify the type of player-friendly deals that basketball has. Not to mention, the sport is way more violent, increasing the likelihood of injury.

    If football were to adopt a basketball or baseball model for contracts, it would be the beginning of the end of the NFL gravy train.

  8. doctorrustbelt says:
    August 30, 2018 at 2:25 pm
    17,253,425 – 2017 nfl attendance

    21,997,412 – 2017 nba attendance

    Now… Compare roster size and injury rates.

    _______

    Now divide it per game.

  9. If the players union was smart it would be capping individual contracts as a % of total wages.

    5-10 players making a fantastic fortune is not good for the average player.

  10. That’s quite the discrepancy. Hopefully he’s able to scrounge enough money to have a comfortable living.

  11. I don’t think Aaron wants to be paid like LeBron:

    LeBron makes $463,414 per game.

    Rogers makes $1,812,500 per game.

    During the regular season (not counting playoff weeks):

    LeBron makes about $1,540,000 a week

    Aaron makes about $1,706,000 a week

  12. In the NBA, players play both Offense, and Defense … Rosters could be cut to 20 player if Rodgers wants to play Nose Tackle also. Less players, more money (unless he’s a snowflake).

  13. of course not. It’s impossible. The NFLPA will always be the weakest union in sports. I see people on Twitter all the time saying that NFL players have to hold out to get their piece of the pie. They walk in different circles.

  14. The comparisons ya’ll making about roster size is true and so the average value of NFL contracts should be a low lower than NBA contracts.

    We’re not talking about average though, we’re talking about the top. The very top NFL QB are as important to their teams as the very top NBA players. I don’t think it’s unreasonable for A-Rod and crew to desire as much money as Lebron and crew get given that each brings in as much value to their team as the other. Even at 30 million a year A-Rod is underpaid.

  15. Maybe you should have played basketball then. Paul MIlsap, a 33 year old NBA player with a career scoring average of 14 points a game, makes 30 million a year. Guaranteed. JJ Reddick made 23 million to come off the bench. If you think NFL owners are going to pay this, you are more of an idiot than anyone thought.

  16. My god. These guys get paid an amount of money most people wish they could get and they still complain talking about wanting NBA type money when there are several reasons why NBA players get paid more.

    Also why is Mr. Rodgers of all people b*tching about money?!

  17. That’s because LeBron is better than you.

    It’s like comparing the brand Ralph Lauren to Old Navy.

  18. Aaron Rogers will earn $1,812,500 per regular season game. Labron James will earn @ $469,500 per regular season game. The NFL has a 53 man roster. NBA rosters have 13 or 14 players.

  19. The reason is in the game of basketball, one player can make a huge difference and single-handedly turn a bad team into a good team. That’s impossible in the NFL because there 22 different players for offense and defense. A-A-ron is the perfect example for football. He’s an all time great and has only gotten to 1 Super Bowl because he can’t control the defense. LeBron is also an all time great and can drag bad rosters to Finals due to basketball players playing both offense and defense. LeBron’s impact is much greater. Any other obvious questions that Rodgers needs answered?

  20. A single great player in basketball can often carry his entire team. Larry Bird for example was able to turn the Celtics around in his rookie season, and he singlehandedly brought Indiana State to the NCAA finals against Magic Johnson. Magic won because his Michigan State team had another player who would later be drafted by an NBA team. In contrast, even a player as good as Aaron Rodgers and Tom Brady need a good D to win the Lombardi Trophy. Just look at the years Brady won the Super Bowl, compared to those years he only came close. The defense was the difference.

  21. It must be a real treat to be a special teams player making the league minimum and having to interact with Rodgers every day.

  22. translation: i’m getting a new contract in 2 years once I fall out of the top 5 QB salaries. He had 2 years left on his current deal and got a new deal anyways. all the people claiming that he had a contract he signed and had to honor it just got proven wrong. the players hold all the leverage.

    Anybody that thinks that this deal he just signed lasts more than 2-3 years is simply wrong. he will ask for a new deal by 2021 at the latest, or sooner if these contracts become like NBA contracts. you really think he won’t complain? that’s all this guy does.

  23. Is he going to hold out then? Rodgers is a very greedy man. Even billions of dollars would never be enough for him. He’s always been about me me me, selfish person.

  24. As someone who can’t stand Aaron Rodgers, he probably wasn’t bitching about his contract, he was probably asked a question and gave a reasonable response based in fact. My hatred for the man isn’t blind, let’s be reasonable people.

  25. Fundamentally, the NBA and NFL are different. In 2017, the NFL had TV revenue of about $14 billion, while the NBA had $7.4 billion for last season. Given that the rosters of NFL teams are about 4 times the size of NBA teams, NBA players on average are going to earn about twice as much as NFL players, just based off TV revenue.

  26. Rodgers can’t have it both ways. If you are edging for the highest contract value on paper, you can’t get it by changing the complete structure of the contract. If you want “NBA type” contracts that you have to expect the overall values will be less, the terms will be shorter and in a contact sport, you will likely be assuming more risk versus a long term contract will the team assumes more risk.
    As a fan it’s just irritating. It’s irritating because players seem oblivious to the obvious differences that exist between the major sports, i.e. roster sizes, physical risk, team structure and league structure. It’s irritating because players really only seem to care about what the overall money looks like, yet they talk about everything but that. Just be honest about your intentions and not sugarcoat it. You want the biggest contract to stoke your own ego and fill you bank account as much as possible.

  27. I don’t care – I don’t like seeing the NBA stars in their prime leaving smaller market teams for more money or rings. The NFL has much more parity than the NBA, and the contract situation is a part of that.

  28. ariani1985 says:
    August 30, 2018 at 2:28 pm

    Does the red carpet diva ever stop crying about money? How much does he need?
    __________________________________________________

    Do you ever stop crying about how much better the Packers are, than your favorite team? No, you don’t.

  29. blitzinc43 says:
    August 30, 2018 at 2:21 pm

    Aaron has been drinking too much Caymus since his new deal, it seems.

    =================================

    It’s impossible to drink too much Caymus! #CabernetAllDay

  30. Think for a moment Aaron. We know you had to go to juco before Cal could push you through but geez. Imagine if players were allowed to team up with the best of the best and have 2 super teams? Imagine players having guaranteed contacts that essentially hamstrings franchises or having to buy out someones contract after they have been traded for just to dump their deal and then they get to go back out onto the free agent market and get paid again like that loser Carmello Anthony. The NBA is the biggest joke of a professional sport that there is. It’s mind blowing they even turn a profit mainly because they have to play 9 months out of the year and the 2/3rd’s of the league makes the playoffs which makes up essentialy 1/3’rd of the season. Don’t even get me started on the WNBA which is the equivalent of lighting money on fire. The NBA sucks, it’s a terrible product with the most self absorbed personalities. Not to mention the game of pro basketball is so elementary, almost no strategy, the best athletes will win everytime. All that waste of time with 16 teams that make the post season with 2 teams having a realistic shot. No thanks.

    As much as I hate to say this but NFL players shouldn’t have the leverage NBA players have, no professional athlete should. If there is one thing that vexes me is to see all the additional money go to the quarterbacks bloated salary while the 8 year vested vet gets the minimum that is often prorated after the season starts. Those guys get screwed. While the qb’s who cry because they have to wait for their team to tear up their current deal and upend their salary cap and roster because now you feel underpaid, yes Aaron, we weep for your tragic situation. The league splits the revenue right down the middle which I have 0 problem with. Aaron, as much as I love your game, I really can’t wait to not hear you speak on things you really have no idea about.

  31. That’s because the NFLPA is the weakest union in galactic history. It has no power because NFL players have zero sense of unity and sacrifice, and in their CBA they negotiate for things like country club relaxed practices instead of MONEY, POWER, & PARTNERSHIP.

  32. You have to understand Rodgers is ALL about himself and everyone of his comments is about how things apply to him. Any spill over to anyone else is purely random. All ego that one.

  33. Aaron’s math is bad. 53 man (top 51 towards cap) rosters vs 14. Not hard to figure out why NBA players make more.

  34. boiler72 says:
    August 30, 2018 at 3:02 pm
    ariani1985 says:
    August 30, 2018 at 2:28 pm

    Does the red carpet diva ever stop crying about money? How much does he need?
    __________________________________________________

    Do you ever stop crying about how much better the Packers are, than your favorite team? No, you don’t.

    ÷÷÷÷÷÷÷

    How are the Packers better than the Vikes? Vikings have won 4 of the last five meetings. Vikings are the defending NFC North Champs. The Vikings made it to the NFCCG last year. How far did the Packers make it last year?

  35. “doctorrustbelt says:
    August 30, 2018 at 2:25 pm
    17,253,425 – 2017 nfl attendance

    21,997,412 – 2017 nba attendance

    Now… Compare roster size and injury rates.”

    The “real” money comes from TV and other broadcast revenue. 256 regular season games plus playoffs, call it 270 games televised for NFL and you have 1230 regular season games plus playoffs, call it 1300 games…. now do the math

  36. Many simple posters on this site think Rodgers is being greedy, but you actually read and understood his quotes, he’s really doing it for all the players and not just his pocketbook. He’s 100% right about the players not having the power other leagues have.

  37. A guy with one ring in 12 NFL seasons gets a contract like this? Yes, he is a great quarterback , and he deserves to be paid well, but now he needs to stop talking about money and just play football. He sounds greedy.

  38. brwmstr says:
    August 30, 2018 at 3:17 pm

    …. now do the math

    //////////////////

    Ummmmmm…you know you’re asking packer fans to do the math. It could take awhile.

  39. nice try by qbs trying to take the new money before it’s even available. who says it should go to qbs anyway? they make enough.

  40. diveleft says:
    August 30, 2018 at 3:15 pm

    How are the Packers better than the Vikes? Vikings have won 4 of the last five meetings. Vikings are the defending NFC North Champs. The Vikings made it to the NFCCG last year. How far did the Packers make it last year?
    ______________________________________________

    The Packers have Aaron Rodgers. The Vikings don’t. They broke his collarbone and it still ended up with no Lombardi trophy in Eden Prairie. Any other questions?

  41. I’m glad he “played ball” and was easy on them because his signing bonus is big enough to pay 12 people 100k per year for an entire 45 year career. That’s not even considering interest.

    Imagine how much he would have gotten if he played tough!

  42. boiler72 says:

    August 30, 2018 at 3:38 pm

    diveleft says:
    August 30, 2018 at 3:15 pm

    How are the Packers better than the Vikes? Vikings have won 4 of the last five meetings. Vikings are the defending NFC North Champs. The Vikings made it to the NFCCG last year. How far did the Packers make it last year?
    ______________________________________________

    The Packers have Aaron Rodgers. The Vikings don’t. They broke his collarbone and it still ended up with no Lombardi trophy in Eden Prairie. Any other questions?

    ——————————-

    The Packers are better because of one player? So the NFL is not a team sport? Get real…outside of Aaron Rodgers…the Vikings as a “team” are absolutely better. Maybe the Packers are slightly better at offensive line, but that’s about it. There’s a good chance neither team will win a Superbowl this year….but that still means one is a better team than the other…the Vikings were on their third string QB, their backup running backs and still went 13-3….what happened when the Packers lost their QB? They went belly up. The Vikings not getting a Superbowl is more the fact that the NFC is full of stacked teams…the Saints…the Rams. The Eagles…the Vikings…and yes the Packers are competitive with Rodgers. But the argument that because the Packers have one player they are a better team…is ludicrous….their chances of success are far greater because of that one player…but as a team they are not better until we see proof that they have improved as a team. I have several family members who are Packer fans that even agree with me. I think if anything to be fair…you can argue the Vikings and Packers are pretty even as far as chances of success when a healthy Aaron Rodgers is playing. The Vikings have beaten the Packers when Rodgers has played…have split with them almost every year under the Zimmer era….The Packers have beaten the Vikings with Aaron Rodgers during the Zimmer era….football is a team sport.

  43. Different leagues. The NBA was affected a lot by Jordan’s first retirement. The NFL wasn’t affected at all in 2008 when Tom Brady was out or in 2011 when Peyton Manning was out. NFL players are more expendable. Sorry, Mr. Rodgers.

  44. Hmmm 82 games vs 16. 53 man roster vs however many are on an NBA team..

    I wonder if Aaron can feed his family on this $29 million/year though, poor guy!

  45. Or maybe it’s because NBA rosters have 15 people, and thus, a lot more money on average for each player. The NFL has a larger salary cap, but it has to split that cap with more than 3x the players, so the average for every player in the NFL is significantly lower.

    I expect the PFT writers to miss that because they’re completely pro-player and hate management, but you’d think Rodgers would understand that basic concept, since he owns part of a NBA team now. Guess all that money in his bank account made him forget basic math.

  46. Someone needs to remind Aaron he only plays 16 games (less while injured) a season and there are 52 other guys on a roster compared to the smaller rosters on NBA and MLB teams with far more games played and fewer injuries. Do the math Rogers.

  47. dartwick says: “If the players union was smart it would be capping individual contracts as a % of total wages.”
    =================

    Brett Favre’s 1997 extention got him $7.87m/yr when the salary cap was $41.45m (19% of salary cap). With a cap of $178m, Rodger’s extention puts him still BELOW that…

  48. The only thing wrong with NFL contracts are the Rookie contracts specially 1st round picks get the short end of the stick. 4yrs contracts with a 5yr option is madness. some rookies can be out of their prime before they get too their first big deal. IF i was a rookie and i know im great and everyone knows im great. i would tank the combine and my pro day just so i goto day 2 or 3 of the draft (yes its a chance that you’re taking). But if you are getting taken day 2 or 3 and you ball out, guess what you going to get a huge contract by your 2nd year and you most like be resigning again by the time the 1st round picks of your draft class make it to the 5th yr option.

    Now im not saying they get paid too much. i am saying the contracts are too long. 1st round should be 3yrs with 4th round option and every round after should just be 3yrs with an option to tender.

  49. Mister Rodgers would have garnered a larger payday had he put himself out on the Open Market. For example, the Jacksonville Jaguars would have paid Rodgers a “mountain of cash” for just two years of service, let alone five lol

    Even with The Real Jimmy G (Jimmy Graham) currently taking residence in Green Bay, Rodgers will never win another Super Bowl for Wisconsin. If Jay Cutler had not gotten injured, the Packers would never have bested (beaten) da Bears in the 2011 NFC Championship Game to begin with (read it and weep, peeps!)

  50. These athletes should try working for a living. They are making MILLIONS while poor slobs like me won’t make in our lifetimes what they make in one year. Cry me a river.

  51. sammyias says:

    August 30, 2018 at 2:42 pm

    In the NBA, players play both Offense, and Defense … Rosters could be cut to 20 player if Rodgers wants to play Nose Tackle also. Less players, more money (unless he’s a snowflake).

    =========================================

    So either the best QB should play NT or he’s a snowflake.

    You must be fun at parties.

  52. Basic math. Ad I don’t like that guy. Yes they do. Salary cap for NBA I believe is $101 million for 14 guys. $7.2 million per player. Like the NFL, they have stars and they have utility players.

    NFL. $177 million for 53 players. That’s like $333k for each player. And when someone (aka Aaron Rodgers – think he is the best QB in the game but still a tool) takes 29.1 million of it, leaves less for everyone else.

    So yes. Less leverage. But the economic model is completely different. Leave it alone.

  53. players total revenue revenue per player
    nfl 1696 $13,000,000,000.00 $7,665,094.34
    mlb 750 $9,500,000,000.00 $12,666,666.67
    nba 450 $4,800,000,000.00 $10,666,666.67

  54. Its pretty simple why NBA contracts are the way they are. they only pay 15 guys and the bottom guys make nothing, yet the salary cap is 101 million with plenty of ways to go over it. % wise there isn’t too much difference NBA gets 51% NFL i believe is 48 or 49%.

    If Rodgers wants the stars to have more money than the guys low on the roster will have to make less

  55. Peyton manning > Rodgers
    Peyton is a better qb. It’s not even close. Rodgers has been to the superbowl only one time! ! One time! ! Rodgers chokes in the playoffs every year.

  56. logicalvoicesays says:
    August 30, 2018 at 2:32 pm

    Top 5 QBs in Pro Football : Robert Griffin III, Aaron Rodgers, Cam Newton, Jared Goff and Matt Stafford. In that order.

    ^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^

    The voice of genius.

    🙂
    🙂
    :-/

  57. The NFL has far fewer games and revenue opportunity and far more players on the roster, including far more starters.

    It’s also a sport where injuries degrade players faster.

    Rodgers is smoking crack rock if he thinks he’d get 29 million a year if salaries were guaranteed.

    Why not? Well, it’s because the guys that get injured and get cut, couldn’t be, thus the average team would likely have 10-20 percent of their cap tied up for years with injured or declining players, if not more. Thus, less money available for top stars.

  58. This guy living on social security after working my whole life has no sympathy for a guy making 30 million a year for 6 years on top of the millions he got in his previous seasons. Boo freakin hoo Rodgers or any other multi millionaire who whines about not “getting paid” or being “disrespected” or not having “leverage”. I grew up in a time when one of the absolute greatest QB’s of all time Johnny Unitas had to take an off season job to make ends meet. Matter of fact most players had to.

  59. dont need more money just need fully guaranteed salaries a-ron is reframing the debate in the owners favor what a tool

  60. He’s right. Difference is,the NFL for the most part, is a great league. The NBA has become garbage imho. And I love basketball.

  61. Rodgers greed knows no bounds. On the day he signs a huge contract he is complains that NBA players have more leverage. Just shut up and be happy there are people starving out there.

  62. you have a raft of money bub, past time to focus on winning something if you want to rise above the one and dones before the clock runs out.

  63. Mister Rodgers would have garnered a larger payday had he put himself out on the Open Market. For example, the Jacksonville Jaguars would have paid Rodgers a “mountain of cash” for just two years of service, let alone five lol

    ————–

    You do realize he had 2 years left on his deal? He wouldn’t have gone anywhere this year or next for sure. And even after that the Packers could have tagged him twice.

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