Arguably the best quarterback in football, Aaron Rodgers, signed a 4-year, $134 million contract earlier today, keeping him on the Green Bay Packers for what seems like the remainder of his career. Rodgers had previously expressed his desire to stay in Green Bay for the latter half of his career, and it seems like after weeks of contract dispute, was finally resolved.
This contract will make Rodgers the highest paid player in NFL history. ESPN’s Adam Schefter reported that the deal guarantees Rodgers around $100 million, a new high for guaranteed money in a contract. Quarterbacks have been making the most money in the NFL for a few years now. For example, last year, Matthew Stafford of the Detroit Lions agreed to a $137 million contract with $90.5 million guaranteed. Then this past May, Matt Ryan agreed to a $150 million contract with $100 million guaranteed. Kirk Cousins agreed to an $84 million contract with nearly all of it guaranteed.
Rodgers is expected to receive about $80 million of it between now and March. And to be honest, I think he deserves to be the league’s highest paid player. He’s 34 years old, which for a quarterback, honestly means he has a good 4-6 years left in his tank. I mean Tom Brady is still performing at a very high level and he’s 41. Rodgers is a 2-time NFL MVP, 1-time Super Bowl Champ, 6-time Pro Bowler, and 2-time First-team All-Pro. He’s got a 13:1 touchdown-to-interception ratio for his entire career, and has the highest career passer rating in the history of the game at 103.8.
Rodgers seemed eager to get a contract done, but knew that he would have to wait until both parties could agree on a deal that would satisfy both sides. He had this to say in a discussion with Rob Demovsky of ESPN.com:
“I’m not trying to screw them, you know. This is a partnership. That’s the only way this is going to work, and the best way things work in this situation is that we’re in this thing together. And if they make that financial commitment, that’s what they’re saying, and also there’s an expectation that you’re going to play well. And then that’s my side of the bargain.”
Now that Rodgers is making the money he believes he deserves, it’s time for him to perform. And he will. The only foreseeable problem that could affect Rodgers is how injury prone he’s been in recent years. Back in 2013, Rodgers missed 7 games with a broken collarbone. And just last season, he missed 9 games due to another collarbone injury. This time however, to reinforce the bone, the surgeons inserted 13 screws to stabilize it. So hopefully, this reinforcement will allow him to remain healthy throughout this season, because when healthy, Rodgers is arguably the best quarterback in the league.
This next season will be a recovery season for the Green Bay Packers. The team missed the playoffs last year, again mostly due to Rodgers’ absence, but with a healthy Rodgers, and a few new offensive weapons in Jimmy Graham and Adonis Jennings, the team could really contend again for playoffs and more. Expect Rodgers to get out onto a hot start to begin the season, as he normally does. The Packers open up against the Chicago Bears on September 9th.