Terry Bradshaw was trending on Twitter today. Fortunately, it wasn’t because he’d finally done what he’d supposedly done in 2007.
Among other things, Bradshaw said Rodgers “has probably the worst footwork I’ve ever seen for a starting quarterback.” Frankly, that simply doesn’t matter, if the quarterback is delivering the ball accurately. Patrick Mahomes has bad footwork, too, and he’s already one of the greatest players in league history.
The more intriguing topic came from Bradshaw’s comments about Rodgers’ contract. Bradshaw compared Rodgers’ desire for a new contract to Bradshaw potentially calling FOX and demanding a new deal despite having multiple years left.
That’s a misleading take. Bradshaw has one contract — his deal with FOX. Rodgers (like every player) has two, his individual agreement with the Packers and the broader contract between the NFL and the NFL Players Association. Although Rodgers has three years let on his deal with the Packers, the labor deal gives him rights to apply leverage to the Packers by, for example, not showing up.
Will there be financial consequences? Yes. Does Rodgers have the right to assume those consequences and withhold services? Absolutely.
It was cleaner for Tom Brady to leave New England, because his individual contract had expired and the team didn’t apply the franchise tag. And it would be easier for Rodgers to get out if he hadn’t agreed to a deal that runs through 2023, and that gives the Packers year-to-year flexibility on the back end.
That continues to be the crux of the problem. The Packers want the benefit of the ability to make their decisions about Rodgers one year at a time. Rodgers wants to short circuit that process.
Rodgers isn’t the only one who has done that. Carson Wentz did it in Philadelphia. Matthew Stafford did it in Detroit. Deshaun Watson is in the process of doing it in Houston. And Russell Wilson eventually will do it in Seattle.
The only questions at this point are whether the Packers dig in or do a deal, and whether Rodgers eventually will return to the Packers, acting like the whole thing was exaggerated and/or fabricated.