Green Bay Packers Didn't Have To Give Aaron Rodgers History-Making Deal

Green Bay could have played hard-ball with Aaron Rodgers but elected not to

Ferrall On The Bench
October 30, 2018 - 8:00 am

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Aaron Rodgers signed a four-year, $134 million extension with the Green Bay Packers, becoming the first player in NFL history with more than $100 million in guaranteed money. 

“It’s a history-making deal,” Milwaukee Journal Sentinel Packers beat writer Jim Owczarski said on Ferrall on the Bench. “It’s the largest in NFL history – at least for now. But it’s still only Yu Darvish money. When you put it in context with other sports, it pales in comparison. But look, the $67 million will be paid out before Dec. 1 and another $13 million by March 17 next year. That’s $80 million just in the next eight, nine months. 

“I think that’s the most surprising part of this – just how flexible the Packers decided to be with that,” Owczarski continued. “They both wanted to get it done, so they both decided to be a little creative. I do think it will leave room for the Packers to get involved in some other (moves) – either a trade or to be in position to still add players next year. It’s not going to totally cripple them in terms of cap space.”

The Packers, by the way, didn’t necessarily have to do this deal. But they wanted to keep Rodgers happy.

“If the Packers wanted to put the screws to him, he was under contract for two years, and they had the franchise tag to use for another two years after that,” Owczarski said. “I think this was maybe a good example of the organization saying, ‘Okay, we know what you’ve done for us. You’ve out-performed the deal. We believe you can continue to play like this.’ That rarely happens in this league. I have to give credit to both sides on this one.”

While Rodgers has played 15+ games in eight of the last 10 seasons, he was limited to seven games last year due to a broken collarbone. He was also limited to nine games in 2013.

Still, Owczarski doesn’t think Rodgers is injury-prone.

“If you break a bone, to me, that’s bad luck,” he said. “If you’re having a lot of soft-tissue stuff, (that’s different). If you break a bone, that’s the cost of doing business. If the doctor say, ‘Hey, he’s at no greater risk of breaking a bone than if you or I ran out there,’ then I don’t see why the team should be concerned about it, either.”