Retirement would give Aaron Rodgers greater flexibility, lower financial penalty than holding out

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With Aaron Rodgers skipping Green Bay’s mandatory minicamp, the next question becomes whether he reports for training camp. For various reasons, it arguably would make more sense for him to retire than to hold out.

The 2020 CBA imposes a daily fine of $50,000 for missing training camp. For players who aren’t operating under a rookie deal, the fines cannot be waived. So if Rodgers skips all of training camp, that’s $2 million that disappears. The Packers can’t look the other way.

So it would make more sense for Rodgers to simply retire on the eve of camp than fail to report, if he’s planning to stay away for all of camp and beyond. Holdout or retire for all of 2021, he loses his $14.7 million salary. Holdout or retire for all of 2021, he loses his $6.8 million roster bonus. Holdout or retire for all of 2021, the Packers would be able to pursue $11.5 million in unearned signing bonus money. Retirement, however, would avoid the fines for missing camp.

He’d still be able to return whenever he wants. In fact, a player who retires most likely can show up even later than a player who is under contract but fails to report. For a failure to report, the deadline to return is believed to be the Tuesday after Week 10 (we’ve sought confirmation from the league on this, given the expansion of the season by a week). For retirement, it’s Week 13 (we’ve sought confirmation on this as well, given the expanded season). Whatever the respective deadlines for 2021, Rodgers can end a holdout before the relevant deadline applicable to players who fail to report, and he can unretire before the relevant deadline applicable to players who retire.

There’s another key date to remember: The Tuesday after Week Eight, the trade deadline. After that, the window closes on Rodgers being sent to another team. If he’d end a holdout or unretires thereafter, the Packers would either have to reinstate him or release him.

Although they most likely wouldn’t cut him, would they reinstate him as the starter? If they’re playing well with Jordan Love, they may want to keep rolling with him. If they’re struggling, Rodgers could potentially be the hero who leads a late charge to the postseason.

Regardless, if Rodgers is serious about staying away into the regular season, there are multiple reasons for him to consider retiring instead of simply not showing up — whether he’s intent on staying out for all of 2021 or wants to preserve the ability to come back.

79 responses to “Retirement would give Aaron Rodgers greater flexibility, lower financial penalty than holding out

  1. Retiring would be dumb. He loses 2 million if he skips camp, he loses multitudes of millions if he retires.

  2. Sit out the entire year; we’ll roll with Love and visit it again in the offseason. While it’s been great having you, Aaron, 3 more years of your services are a very small part of the Green Bay Packers and their storied history.

    That three years may seem like the Holy Grail to that bunch over yonder, but it’s just not that big a deal here.

  3. lol

    told ya

    They should have dealt him to his preferred choice of Denver. This way, GB may get almost next to nothing when he comes out of retirement in 2022.

  4. At his age, a temporary retirement would just about end his career. There is no way in hell he’ll be able to maintain his regimen with a sports-numb fiancé in-tow who expects and requires attention. Buh bye.

  5. Everyone wonders why the Packers ‘screwed this up’ 2x in a row now, with Favre and Rodgers at the end of their careers. But people never ask “How did Green Bay get 2 diva quarterbacks near the end of their career?” It’s simple. Because there’s no Billionaire Daddy Warbucks owner in Green Bay… there’s no ‘bigger man’ on campus than the quarterback.

    Rodgers and Favre were, for all intents and purposes, the richest men in Green Bay at the time. Rodgers is richer than Mark Murphy, Matt LaFleur, Brian Gutekunst, and the entire board of the Packers. In other NFL cities (New York, Dallas, Los Angeles, etc), there’s mega-millionaires and billionaires. Green Bay Wisconsin is the only city in the world where the richest person (and inevitably, the person with the biggest ego) is the quarterback of a sports team. Whether the next great quarterback is Jordan Love, or someone else, expect this saga to play out for the rest of time until the NFL is defunct.

  6. erin will show up just when he feels most wanted. your guess is as good as any

  7. NFL seasons are long. And this is the first with 17 games.

    If Rodgers is “retired” and the Packers lose multiple games week after week behind first round pick Jordan Love, do you really think the fans or media would accept that? In this very likely scenario, Gutekunst single-handedly torpedoed a team’s super bowl window and relationship with its MVP HOF quarterback with one terrible decision.

    Accounting for the aftermath, Jordan Love could go down as the most costly draft pick in NFL history. He has to be great or Rodgers wins the inevitable divorce in a landslide.

  8. He’s gonna go the Ramsey route… Thats the only way he wins this gane of chicken.

  9. Retire? How about just show back up before the trade deadline and force the Packer’s hand halfway through the season.

  10. If Aaron takes this road, he is essentially the cause of what he feared most. Seems Shakespearean.

  11. Stella, for a guy who supposedly doesn’t care about this whole saga, you sure comment about it an awful lot.

    He gone and I still can’t figure out why Packer fans aren’t as frustrated with the front office as Rodgers is. Why side with a management group that’s satisfied with winning a playoff participation ribbon every year?

  12. Been saying it for years, but we should have kept Brent Huntley at QB. the kid has skills beyond Love

  13. touchback6 says:
    June 8, 2021 at 5:22 pm
    lol

    told ya

    They should have dealt him to his preferred choice of Denver. This way, GB may get almost next to nothing when he comes out of retirement in 2022.
    _______________________________________________________

    If Rodgers retires, he owes the GB Packers over $18 million in already paid money, AND forfeits over $14 million in salary for the 2021 season. Nah, that’s not Rodgers’ style. A classic passive-aggressive and narcissist, Aaron will drag his little sorry drama on as far as he can before he shows up to training camp and acts like nothing happened.
    This benefits the GBPs in two ways—first Jordan Love gets the OTA snaps, all of them, which is good because Jordan needs it, and 20 Rodgers reveals himself to be about HIMSELF and not about the other people on the team.

    In Rodgers favor is the more this player tantrum/pity party continues distraction continues, the less people will think about Rodgers’ starched collar at the end of the NFCCG. A child could have run the ball in from the eight yard line with that hole/lane vs. Tampa Bay. But, no, diva had to force it to Adams into triple coverage.;)

  14. Sitting out a year at age 37 is essentially hanging it up forever. Its fine to retire. As long as that’s his only goal.

    Retiring and missing time is not a good idea if he has any plans on continuing to play.

  15. While the Rodgers news and reactions provides endless entertainment, admittedly I’m still trying to figure out what “over yonder” means as referenced in a post above, as the term is not used where I live. Must have something to do with cows or farms. . . . .

  16. finchy74 says:
    June 8, 2021 at 5:54 pm
    Stella, for a guy who supposedly doesn’t care about this whole saga, you sure comment about it an awful lot.
    Zzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz

    You’re welcome.

  17. finchy74 says:
    June 8, 2021 at 5:54 pm
    Stella, for a guy who supposedly doesn’t care about this whole saga, you sure comment about it an awful lot.

    He gone and I still can’t figure out why Packer fans aren’t as frustrated with the front office as Rodgers is. Why side with a management group that’s satisfied with winning a playoff participation ribbon every year?

    ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

    Wait… I thought “Erin” as the cool kids like to call him is the reason they keep going deep in the playoffs but coming up just short.

  18. Rodgers retires, Packer’s get nothing. Packer far turn on Rodgers after years of defending his antics.

  19. At this point it’s clear that Rodgers doesn’t know what his end game is.
    He isn’t saying or doing anything… other than forfeiting a lot of money.
    I’d say that the people in the Packer’s front office are just as steadfast & stubborn as Rodgers is. Maybe Rodgers didn’t realize that until now.

  20. He’s NOT gooing to retire Jeez. He will be back when he wants to and there will be no fines or anything.

  21. With the opportunities that are going to be lost by his Green Bay teammates I think they may be a bit pissed…

  22. This is so dumb. Trade him. Get something and move on. Green bay screwed up. Dont screw up future more. You could have gotten a haul for him months ago and been done with all this. Instead, what? Green bay is gonna show Rodgers? Show him what? He won a superbowl. He is super rich. He has hollywood girlfriend. Bruh, he already won. Green bay just looks stupid. Now you get nothing and Rodgers is still rich, still has the hollywood girlfriend, and still already won a superbowl. But hey, they sure showed Rodgers who the boss is..

  23. Another implication of his retirement is the salary cap. When he unretires, GB will have to find $15mm unless they reserve this sum in anticipation of an unretirement.

  24. Aaron needs to get with reality and remember he nor any other player is bigger than the team they play for, in the real world you either stay in line with what management wants or he can change careers anytime he wants. I’d make him sit if he wants to keep sitting and go forward with Love. Rodgers of all people has seen this drill before and he knows how it will work.

  25. It’s not practical for Rodgers to be traded mid-season. Possible yes, but which team is going to do the salary cap gymnastics to acquire Rodgers, and play him with him not knowing the playbook, etc.

    In fact, it’s hard to see Rodgers playing for another team if he isn’t there for training camp, although again it’s possible. I wouldn’t expect him to be as effective with another team off the jump in that situation, however.

    At some point there could be language in Rodgers’ contract, which is more or less standard in player contracts, that holding out is considered conduct detrimental, which voids his contract guarantees. I don’t know if that helps the Packers when it comes to dead cap amounts, but that could be relevant.

    Bottom line, if Rodgers doesn’t play for the Packers this year, he’s unlikely to be a factor for any team making a playoff run, and may not play at all.

  26. Rodgers retires, Packers get nothing. Packer fans turn on Rodgers after years of defending his antics.

  27. cheeseisfattening says:
    June 8, 2021 at 6:28 pm
    Rodgers retires, Packers get nothing. Packer fans turn on Rodgers after years of defending his antics.
    Zzzzzzzzzzz

    Yeah, we heard you the first time.

  28. Aaron Rodgers just wants to get on with his life. The Packers decided they didn’t want Rodgers anymore, and they traded up in the first round to draft a QB when the team had other needs and they were very close to a super bowl team. It’s pretty clear Rodgers is willing to grant them their wish. Why would Rodgers retire? He’s a reigning MVP QB in a QB league. He wants to play football, and the Packers don’t want him. Why are they being so ridiculous? The fact that the entire front office hasn’t been fired pretty much proves everyone of them were on board with moving on from Rodgers, and going with another QB. Who do they think they’re fooling?

  29. The great thing about this whole saga is that both Rodgers and the Packers look bad. There’s nothing to admire about how either side is handling this.

  30. purpleguy says:
    June 8, 2021 at 6:10 pm
    While the Rodgers news and reactions provides endless entertainment, admittedly I’m still trying to figure out what “over yonder” means as referenced in a post above, as the term is not used where I live. Must have something to do with cows or farms. . . . .
    Zzzzzzzzzzzzzz

    Here’s an example of urban over-yonder:

    “In 2019, the Twin Cities branch of the National Weather Service said the smell is a result of strong southwest winds combined with dry conditions that allowed for the manure smell to spread” .Oct 9, 2020

  31. finchy74 says:
    June 8, 2021 at 5:54 pm
    Stella, for a guy who supposedly doesn’t care about this whole saga, you sure comment about it an awful lot.

    ————————————

    He’s in your head, huh?

  32. If he unretires just before week 10, does he get his $6.8M roster bonus? He’d still get $6M of his salary for the last 7 games. He might get to keep his signing bonus. It would royally tick off Green Bay fans, but eventually most of them will get over it after he really retires.

  33. When Farve retired he really had the team in a tough spot because the Packers moved on and used the additional salary cap $$ to add or extend players for that upcoming season. This time around they would be wise to not touch the cap room. Leave it to use when Rodgers changes his mind and they won’t be forced to juggle the roster to fit him back in.

  34. As a player I would be super super peed off if he waited until the start of training camp to retire. Now your hurting the coaches and players. No if your going to go announce it and stop this ‘beautiful mystery’ crap. If your new girlfriend is into that phrase you may want to find someone else.

  35. haywoodj says:
    June 8, 2021 at 5:35 pm
    erin will show up just when he feels most wanted. your guess is as good as any
    ———————————————————————————————————————————————
    Stop calling him erin. Its Aaron the first, the strong, the brave, the beautiful mystery. LOL

  36. None of these scenarios address what the Packers are losing. So the question is does GB want to get $11 mil back from Rodgers and let him go for no future compensation or do they trade him for first rounder plus players/picks and also save this years salary? Rodgers has value now and it’s past June 2 so the cap hit is less. Makes sense for both parties to make the trade happen.

  37. If Rodgers thinks retirement will force the Packers hand, this Packer fan would just love him to try it and have the Packers retain his rights to never take another snap in the NFL again.

    Meanwhile, Jeopardy producers are paying attention.

  38. I’m gonna take a wild guess and say he’ll be back with the Packers for 5 more years, he will make another 200 million in those five years and when he’s inducted into the Packers and NFL HOF he’ll ALWAYS be a Green Bay Packer!

  39. 12/1/83. He’ll be 38 this season. Same age as Favre’s “retirement” that basically lasted as long as the offseason program.

    Even a country bumpkin like Brett understood he couldn’t actually miss a season at that age and still come back at the same level.

    Waiting until week 10 to come back and accrue a service year or worse yet being petty enough to retire and then unretire next year just to screw up Green Bay’s salary cap would make him a pariah until the end of time.

  40. So what happens if he shows up for training camp and shortly after has some sort of injury (lower back, elbow etc) and is unable to compete. Would he still have full salary?

  41. packerbacker1987 says:
    June 8, 2021 at 5:31 pm
    Everyone wonders why the Packers ‘screwed this up’ 2x in a row now, with Favre and Rodgers at the end of their careers. But people never ask “How did Green Bay get 2 diva quarterbacks near the end of their career?” It’s simple. Because there’s no Billionaire Daddy Warbucks owner in Green Bay //////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////// No city without a Billionaire Daddy Warbucks owner deserves an NFL franchise. Period.

  42. don’t matter. He will not win another chip. He finished. Washed up.

    Regards

    Frank
    Owner – Lopez motors

  43. I wish The Pack would just deal him to Denver for picks already. He can get all earthy in the mountains with his Hollywood girlfriend, and Green Bay can see that Jordan Love stinks, and can use an acquired trade pick to draft another qb.

  44. They traded up to draft Love so they intended to move on from Rodgers. So just stick to the program and move on already. Get a haul of draft picks and move on. Yes, he won the MVP but he didn’t win the Super Bowl.

  45. To me this is a warning shot by Rodgers to send a message to the front office. He’s saying “im at the end of my career, we are close lets make the big move that’s been lacking or I will be gone.” I predict he shows up at training camp. No way he forfeits all the money and another chance at a championship, no way. He’s the ultimate competitor (aside from Brady). He’s not going to sit at home book it. This is a big game of chicken right now.

  46. Stella, Cabbage, etc..

    Do you folks not understand that YOU are the people that created this situation? Aaron Rodgers is leaving Green Bay precisely because of fans like yourself.

    The Packers organization has fostered a culture among its fans to excuse this team at every turn. When this entire saga is eventually made public, I guarantee you that Rodgers isn’t leaving the Packers because they drafted his replacement. He’s not leaving because of his contract. He’s leaving because after a season where the team was one game away from the biggest game in all of professional sports, the Packers brass approached the draft as though this was a team in rebuilding mode. Rodgers’ patience was already thin at this point but this pushed him over the edge. After that another season passes and they don’t have the horses yet again to get past the NFC title game. This time against a team that brought in another HoF QB that gave him the tools to win (and no Stella, Tom isn’t lucky. He’s just the GOAT.) Rodgers’ clock is ticking and he decided enough is enough.

    And why did the Packers organization approach the off-season in this manner instead of going for broke and winning a Super Bowl? BECAUSE THEY CAN. They can always plan for two to three years down the road and fans like yourselves will always say “aww shucks, we’ll get ’em next year” after every crushing playoff loss and look to next year instead of holding the organization accountable to cash in on the remaining years of an all-time great talent.

    You have zero business blaming Aaron. If you want to know why Aaron Rodgers wants out of Green Bay, all you need to do is to find a mirror.

  47. I get it, Princess Aaron thinks he is the greatest QB ever have played the game or atleast the greatest Packer ever, but dude needs to get with the program. The Green Bay Packers have been around since 1919, way before Aaron was a swallow instead of a spit. Aaron might have 5 more years before time catches up with him and he will retire. The Green Bay Packers will continue on without him and someone else will pick up wherever he leaves off. It will happen either way, so why would you bend over backwards and possibly wreck your team future just to keep one guy happy for a brief time in the grand scheme of things? You wouldn’t and on top of that a message needs to be sent that this isn’t the NBA and players do run the show, it’s the person writing the checks.

  48. If Aaron really wants to put one over on the Packers, he would show up and then claim to get some sort of mysterious injury in training camp that will require him to miss the entire season. That way he still gets paid, but he doesn’t play. Everyone will know the injury is bogus but they just won’t be able to prove it. Then after he’s traded, like a miracle, his injury will go away.

  49. I’ve never been so happy hearing about Green Bay’s QB situation.

    Signed,
    A Bears Fan

  50. Aaron should just show up and be the problem Mark Murphy predicted him to be. Aaron already tanked and got one MM fired.

  51. My message is clear; you play for the Packers or you can retire and pay back 30 plus million.

  52. Why not just show up, fake a soft tissue injury and cash checks until they get rid of you?

  53. If you ever wonder why Tom Brady has 7 rings and Aaron Rodgers, who is a more talented QB, has only one, you don’t need to look any further than this off-season. One guy is working his butt off, acting like he hasn’t won anything, the other guy is acting like a prima Donna.

  54. MileHighMystique says:
    June 8, 2021 at 7:15 pm

    None of these scenarios address what the Packers are losing. So the question is does GB want to get $11 mil back from Rodgers and let him go for no future compensation or do they trade him for first rounder plus players/picks and also save this years salary? Rodgers has value now and it’s past June 2 so the cap hit is less. Makes sense for both parties to make the trade happen.

    ——————————————————————————-

    That’s not how it works. Say Rodgers retires for the entire season and unretires next off season. He would have had to pay back the roster bonus, pay back the $11 million pro-rated signing bonus and not been paid his 2021 salary. He would still belong to the Packers for the duration of the contract.

  55. Rodgers wouldn’t have any issues if McCarthy hadn’t played “not to lose” in Seattle. That team had SuperBowl written all over it. He should’ve had another SuperBowl last year too….two boneheaded fumbles by Jones, one of which was a virtual walk-in TD by Lucky Tom and the head-shaking freebie given up before the half. Green Bay was better, But Lucky Tom was luckier. Green Bay had the best offense in the league last year. Rodgers has no excuses. He was surrounded by talent. He should’ve run it in. Nobody is more important than the team. Nobody.

  56. The Packers spent a round 1 pick on a QB. Obviously at some point you planned to move on from Rodgers and play the guy. It looks like now is that time. Trade #12 and build around the guy you drafted….it’s time.

  57. L. S. says:
    “a message needs to be sent that this isn’t the NBA and players do run the show, it’s the person writing the checks.”

    – – – – –

    Except the Packers do not have ONE owner, which would make things less complicated.

  58. finchy74 says:
    June 8, 2021 at 5:54 pm

    He gone and I still can’t figure out why Packer fans aren’t as frustrated with the front office as Rodgers is. Why side with a management group that’s satisfied with winning a playoff participation ribbon every year?

    ————————————-

    Packer fans were frustrated with the front office for years.

    The TED THOMPSON front office.

    Gutekunst has actually done what people were clamoring for Thompson to do. He signed free agents. He’s drafted impact players. He fired McCarthy, and picked Lafleur to be the new head coach.

    For two straight seasons, the Packers have gotten within a game of the Super Bowl. That’s a lot more than a “playoff participation ribbon,” and they were in position to make another serious run at the big game this fall.

    That is, until Rodgers apparently decided to blow the whole thing up.

    Why the heck WOULDN’T Packer fans be on management’s side in this?

  59. The Packers must think they hold all the cards. Let’s say that Rodgers holds out and the Packers are forced to go with Jordan Love. Welcome to last place. Championship window slammed shut for at least the next few years. The patience of fans will be very short lived. Rodgers wants to win and the Packers are happy to compete and be “relevant”. Rodgers net worth is estimated at $120 million, so he isn’t exactly broke.

  60. Just fire the GM. He’s an expendable idiot anyway. Problem solved.

    On the other hand, he could retire until game one, and then the Pack has a disgruntled QB who doesn’t want to be there who has missed all of camp. And if he stubs his toe he can sit with the injury. Whoopee!

  61. Aaron, if you’re that dug in and don’t plan on playing for GB be a man and just say it. How old are we?!

  62. Another point: if the Packers don’t trade him and he ‘retires’, he can come back to haunt them in the NFC like Favre did. The Packers would be free of the money, but they would lose the draft picks and players in a trade. After two seasons, the cap hit goes away.

    Trade him to the AFC is still the best option in my view.

  63. harryhodag says:
    June 9, 2021 at 8:57 am
    Another point: if the Packers don’t trade him and he ‘retires’, he can come back to haunt them in the NFC like Favre did. The Packers would be free of the money, but they would lose the draft picks and players in a trade. After two seasons, the cap hit goes away.

    Trade him to the AFC is still the best option in my view.

    ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

    If he retires and “unretires,” whenever he comes back, he still owes Green Bay 3 more seasons.

    When Favre “unretired” he was then still under contract to the Packers. They traded him to the Jets, in the AFC, as you suggest…. and then Favre maneuvered his way to Minnesota. I would imagine that nightmare is a pretty big part of the teams apparent “play for us or play for nobody” stance.

  64. harryhodag says:
    June 9, 2021 at 8:57 am
    Another point: if the Packers don’t trade him and he ‘retires’, he can come back to haunt them in the NFC like Favre did. The Packers would be free of the money, but they would lose the draft picks and players in a trade. After two seasons, the cap hit goes away.

    Trade him to the AFC is still the best option in my view.
    ——————————————————————————————————————————————————
    Packers hold all cards. His contract retired or not stands in tact for three years and they own his movement for that period of time. He cant un retire and then go where he wants, doesnt happen for three years.

  65. Even IF Rodgers does comeback this year, its going to be a distraction ALL year long and is going to mess up the team chemistry more than it is all ready. This situation is ultimately past the point of no return and the season could be over before it even starts.

  66. hailtothe says:
    June 8, 2021 at 10:39 pm
    MileHighMystique says:
    June 8, 2021 at 7:15 pm

    None of these scenarios address what the Packers are losing. So the question is does GB want to get $11 mil back from Rodgers and let him go for no future compensation or do they trade him for first rounder plus players/picks and also save this years salary? Rodgers has value now and it’s past June 2 so the cap hit is less. Makes sense for both parties to make the trade happen.

    ——————————————————————————-

    That’s not how it works. Say Rodgers retires for the entire season and unretires next off season. He would have had to pay back the roster bonus, pay back the $11 million pro-rated signing bonus and not been paid his 2021 salary. He would still belong to the Packers for the duration of the contract.
    __________________
    Point is, from Packers perspective, do they want him to retire, get his signing bonus back, not have Rodgers, and not have picks/players as compensation or do they want to trade him, get salary savings, low cap hit, no Rodgers, but multiple picks/players? Having a key player in your locker room who’s undermining admin & being a distraction is counterproductive.

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