Earlier this afternoon, we raised the question of whether anyone will opt out in 2021. Surely, few if any will do so due to concerns regarding the pandemic.
That said, players who signed their most recent contracts before October 1, 2020 could choose to press pause on their careers for a season for other reasons. Including specific player who supposedly is considering not playing for the Packers this year. Aaron Rodgers, if eligible to opt out, could do so at a significant financial savings.
Based on a (more) careful reading of the letter agreement, Rodgers can opt out for 2021. Unless he opted out or has been diagnosed with a higher-risk condition since October 1, Rodgers can’t get the $350,000 stipend. But he can still opt out without receiving any pay.
For Rodgers, the savings would be tremendous.
Opting out would allow Rodgers to refrain from forfeiting $18.3 million in earned bonus money. While he’d still lose a $14.7 million salary for 2021 (it would be bumped to 2022), the cost of not playing would be slashed dramatically by opting out. Then, after the season, Rodgers presumably would be traded by the Packers to a new team, get a new contract, and continue his career.
So there’s the updated assessment after a more careful reading of the seven-page letter agreement. It seemed to good to be true, but it’s true. Rodgers has a silver bullet that lets him sit out for all of 2021 and save $18.3 million — if he’s willing to make a binding and permanent and irrevocable decision to not play this year by next Friday, July 2.
UPDATE 6:22 a.m. ET 6/25/21: This article has been revised based on a more careful reading of the letter agreement.