Aaron Rodgers opt out unlikely by July 2 deadline

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One of the most surprising stories of the first slow week of the NFL offseason came courtesy of the 2021 opt-out rules. The agreement between the league and the NFL Players Association gives Packers quarterback Aaron Rodgers the ability to sit out all of the coming season, with zero financial obligations to the team for not playing this year.

His $11.5 million in signing bonus allocation for this year would not be subject to forfeiture. His $6.8 million roster bonus, earned in March, most likely would still be paid out weekly during the regular season — putting him in a much better position than many of the players who are actually playing. Then, after the season, he’d presumably be traded.

The problem, as one source with knowledge of the dynamics explained it, is this: With a deadline of July 2 and with the decision irrevocable, Rodgers won’t be ready to give up on playing this year in just five days.

So what of the fact that, if he eventually chooses to stay away, he potentially loses $18.3 million, a number that bumps to $20.3 million when factoring in the daily fines for skipping training camp? As the source explained it, there’s confidence that Rodgers will be able to avoid playing without ever having to pay back any money to the Packers.

Although the training-camp fines are not waivable, the Packers wouldn’t be able to easily remove those amounts from his game checks, if he never gets another one. And while the $6.8 million roster bonus payments will be due to Rodgers on a weekly basis, they won’t pay that money if he’s not there.

Ultimately, the question is whether the Packers would get the $11.5 million signing bonus allocation and/or the $2 million in fines. Again, there’s confidence that Rodgers never will be forced to write a check back to the Packers.

One potential strategy comes from the possibility of a retirement due to a football injury. The thinking is that a pre-camp retirement would extinguish all rights that the Packers would have to any type of fine or forfeiture, and that it would even still leave the team on the hook for the $6.8 million roster bonus. As the source put it, it would be very easy for a 16-year veteran who has had multiple surgeries to retire citing an accumulation of wear and tear from playing the game. Then, come 2022, he could just unretire, explaining that the year off has left him feeling rejuvenated, healthy, etc.

All that said, Rodgers has done nothing to set up a potential “I’m just too banged up” excuse. It would be easy for him to pepper that mindset through his scant media appearances. The closest he’s come to doing that happened during the interview for the upcoming golf match with Tom Brady, Phil Mickelson, and Bryson DeChambeau, when Rodgers joked with Mickelson that the quarterback wants to intimidate the golfer with impressive calf muscles, but that one of Rodgers’ calf muscles no longer looks so impressive after the injuries to it.

Then there’s this simple fact: None of this is about the money for Rodgers. If he doesn’t want to play, he’s not going to play. If that comes with a seven- or eight-figure expense, so be it.

Bottom line? The thinking is that the opt out deadline comes too quickly, and that it’s consequences are too permanent, for Rodgers to go that route in 2021. Thus, the beautiful mystery will continue until late July at the earliest, when Rodgers does or doesn’t show up for training camp — and when he possibly retires for a season before unretiring in after it.

47 responses to “Aaron Rodgers opt out unlikely by July 2 deadline

  1. It’s the same old story told a little differently each time. Rodgers doesn’t have just 3, 4, or 5 days to make his decision. He’s probably made that decision a while ago, just hasn’t announced it yet.

  2. This is what happens when you make your QB the king of your town. Happened with Bret, Happening with Aaron, and will happen with whomever ends up being the heir to the throne.

  3. Fortunately for the Pack fans they’ve recently not had to endure the agonizing experience of unsuccessfully trying to find a replacement QB for 6 to 15 years like some teams have experienced. Buckle up buttercups, you’re luck has run out!!!

  4. He really should be taking good care of himself for the benefit of his new team. Hopefully he and Devante will be happy in Denver.

  5. He could retire for a year then unretire and we are in the same boat next year with the Packers still holding his rights. This isn’t going to end any time soon.

  6. Those Packers wish they could have steady, long term, championship winning quarterbacks like our Vikings.

  7. Rodgers and the Packers are keeping public comments and leaks to a minimum. Rodgers should practice at least three weeks in training camp before they’d let him start under-center on Opening Day. This enables him to show up late. Showing up late can be his “statement” and should be sufficient to sustain the thumb-on-nose finger-wave Rodgers continues to give the Packer front office. I think he’ll be there Opening Day, or not playing at all. People forget what a great team the Packers have built around this guy the last two years, including the No.1 ranked offense. That’s not easy to do when you’re cap-restricted. It would not be the same without Rodgers, but it’s a team and he’s not doing it alone. This team has gotten better in the off-season. The best team Rodgers has had on both sides of the ball in recent years, is this one right now. He knows this. If he passes this up, Love will be handed the keys to a Corvette on a silver platter. I’m OK with that too.

  8. I would not be surprised if Rodgers opts out. He’s not popular here anymore.

  9. I’m not sure what the fuss is all about. Between Rogers and Favre they have two SB wins in 30 years. Big whoop

  10. One potential strategy comes from the possibility of a retirement due to a football injury. The thinking is that a pre-camp retirement would extinguish all rights that the Packers would have to any type of fine or forfeiture, and that it would even still leave the team on the hook for the $6.8 million roster bonus. As the source put it, it would be very easy for a 16-year veteran who has had multiple surgeries to retire citing an accumulation of wear and tear from playing the game. Then, come 2022, he could just unretire, explaining that the year off has left him feeling rejuvenated, healthy, etc.

    Ironically that is precisely what his predecessor Brett Favre did to the Packers…although he didn’t even sit a year, and forced the team to trade him to the Jets.

  11. sofakingcool1 says:
    June 27, 2021 at 2:45 pm

    “Then, come 2022, he could just unretire, explaining that the year off has left him feeling rejuvenated, healthy, etc.”

    The packers will still own his rights. For the length of the remainder of that contract. So if he unretires, they either have to renegotiate, or use the contract they have. It was all played out by Barry Sanders and the Lions.

  12. nhpats2011 says:
    June 27, 2021 at 2:16 pm

    I’m not sure what the fuss is all about. Between Rogers and Favre they have two SB wins in 30 years. Big whoop
    ______

    Obviously you care to some degree, as you are constantly on these articles about the Packers and Aaron Rodgers commenting. 😂

  13. It’s funny – it really isn’t any clearer now if Rodgers will show for training camp than it was the day before the draft. I don’t think theres’s been this much reading of the tea leaves since that party in Boston about 150 years ago.

  14. Love Green Bay fans..
    Quite obviously, they don’t t remember the time between Bart Starr and Aaron Rodgers.
    LOL…Let them wish one of the best to ever play….goodbye..

    Bills fan who understands the value of, AND the valley between franchise QBs.

  15. Check that. Opts out, cuts rap album that never drops (NBA move), plays again next year. LOL

  16. If the Packers want to stick it to Rodgers they could call Tampa to discuss a trade for Brady. Pipe dream but Rodgers is younger so maybe Rodgers and a draft pick or two for Brady. Never say never. Would love to see this whole thing backfire on Rodgers and see Brady beat him again in the NFC championship game in a Green Bay uniform. I’d be making a call to Tampa.

  17. hogbuster

    Never happen. Why?

    Brady wouldn’t go to Green Bay and Tampa wouldn’t want Rodgers in exchange for Brady.

    Tampa would refuse to accept the call…

  18. Well if the teams can use technicalities to discontinue paying players, as has been done recently, then it ought to be fair for the players to stick it to the owners when they have a chance.

  19. Packer fans have turned on Rodgers. But IF he comes back they’ll be fawning all over him again.

  20. Better not let him get away. Look at all the titles that guy has brought you.

  21. Wafflestomp says:
    June 27, 2021 at 4:13 pm
    nhpats2011 says:
    June 27, 2021 at 2:16 pm

    I’m not sure what the fuss is all about. Between Rogers and Favre they have two SB wins in 30 years. Big whoop
    ______

    Obviously you care to some degree, as you are constantly on these articles about the Packers and Aaron Rodgers commenting. 😂

    ——

    I comment on lots of articles. So tell me again, why all the fuss over a guy with 1 SB win in 15 years?

  22. If he sits out and it can’t be reversed, then the pressure is really on the Packers to take a deal now. Sure, they could let him sit and then trade him before next season. But even with as good as he is, teams will not give up nearly as much next year as they would this year considering his age & having sat a year.

  23. cheeseisfattening says:
    June 27, 2021 at 6:30 pm
    Packer fans have turned on Rodgers. But IF he comes back they’ll be fawning all over him again.
    Zzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz

    No they haven’t. Some may have been influenced by media and drew conclusions on theories and suppositions, much like trolls, but Rodgers has said and done very, very little. Nobody but Rodgers and the Packers can pretend to know what’s going on. Until then……Go Pack! Go Rodgers! If he doesn’t show…..Go Love!

  24. If Rogers opts out, he’s doing the Packers a favor by getting out if their hair until next off season so it’s not happening. What’s also not happening is Aaron being traded. He’s pretty much screwed with zero leverage and I’m pretty sure the people running the Packers remember dealing with a problematic diva QB once before and know exactly how to play this game. Aaron can play all the games he wants, but in the end Green Bay owns Aaron. He’s either going to play for the Packers for the next 3 seasons and then get his freedom or he can retire and be free of the Packers. It’s a beautiful but simple mystery, pick one already Aaron.

  25. What’s really too bad in all of this is that no matter what decision Rodgers makes, he’s permanently alienated a very loyal fan base that used to love him unconditionally.

  26. He’ll be back. And he’ll act as if nothing’s happened. No way is Rodgers passing up 20 big ones…

  27. Packers fans saying they’re okay with Love starting.

    No you’re not.

  28. nhpats2011 says:
    June 27, 2021 at 8:50 pm
    I comment on lots of articles. So tell me again, why all the fuss over a guy with 1 SB win in 15 years?
    Zzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz

    Because Rodgers is the most talented quarterback playing in the NFL at the moment, and there can only be one luckiest of all-time. Brady has that wrapped up. It’s hard to compete with luck. You asked.

  29. SeeYouNextTuesday says:
    June 28, 2021 at 8:53 am
    Packers fans saying they’re okay with Love starting.

    No you’re not.
    Zzzzzzzzzzzzzz

    Yes, I am. It’s only a game.

  30. Vikings fan here. I have ZERO doubt AR will be playing QB for the green and gold this year. It will be his final year in GB however and likely a loss in the SB or NFCC

  31. Opting out was never even a question.

    Aaron has been working out and getting his body and mind ready for the season. And no, it’s not just for the celebrity golf match on July 6th. Though that will be fun.

    OneTeamOneNation

    PackerNation!✊

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