Quarterback Aaron Rodgers says he won’t hold the Packers hostage. Regardless, he currently holds all the cards.
Under the contract Rodgers received in March 2022, his compensation for 2023 shoots to nearly $60 million. And it’s fully guaranteed.
If Rodgers wants to stay, he’s staying. If they’d cut him (they won’t), they’d owe him the money. And while they could trade him, no other team would take on that financial responsibility if he makes it clear he doesn’t want to be there.
So while Rodgers called the coming decision “mutual,” it really isn’t. Last year, he secured the unilateral ability to continue, or not continue, the relationship for two years.
If he wants to stay, he will. And if the Packers decide they want him to go, the challenge in the coming weeks will be to get him to come to that conclusion on his own.
But why would he retire? It’s $60 million. For one more year of football. Sixty million.
While it seems as if he’s at least thinking about not playing, money talks. Sixty million screams. And no amount of kicking and screaming by the Packers will change that fact.