To the extent that Packers quarterback Aaron Rodgers had wanted to create the impression that he wasn’t being a sweaty pig at the financial trough, it didn’t work.
The new deal finally signed by Rodgers reportedly pays out $150 million over the next three years. Given that the final two years of the four-year extension (five-year contract) are dummy years for cap purposes, and in light of the fact that he was due to earn $26.47 million in 2022, the deal pays out $123.53 million in so-called “new money.” This translates to a new-money average of $61.7 million.
That shoves the current bar for quarterbacks from $45 million by $16.7 million.
It remains to be seen whether that’s how the money will be paid. Rodgers gets roughly $41 million this year, most of which surely will come in the form of a signing bonus. Next year, he has a gigantic $58.3 million option bonus.
We still need to study the entire document to understand whether it’s a one-, two-, or three-year commitment by player and/or team. Rodgers quite possibly has the power to retire or request a trade after each season. If he doesn’t have that power, he failed to maximize his leverage.
Then again, with a new-money average of nearly $62 million, it’s fair to say he maximized his leverage.