After losing to the Tampa Bay Buccaneers in the NFC championship game, Aaron Rodgers set the internet ablaze with his comments on his future. He is 37-years old and has what many think is his replacement waiting in the wings. If anything, Rodgers was transparent. In the NFL, nothing is a guarantee, no matter how great of a player they are.
Rodgers is coming off one of his best seasons ever. However, there still seems to be some uncertainty surrounding No. 12’s future in Green Bay. The Packers realize that Rodgers is their signal-caller for the foreseeable future, but how can they show their long-term commitment to Rodgers?
Aaron Rodgers’ future in Green Bay
The future for Aaron Rodgers with the Green Bay Packers isn’t as clear as it might seem. With his age and the business that is the NFL, there is no guarantee that he’ll be back with the Packers. Rodgers did say that he thinks he is going to be back with the Packers. However, he made to emphasize that nothing is absolute in the NFL.
“I don’t think that there is any reason why I wouldn’t be back. But look, there’s not many absolutes in this business. So to make an absolute statement about something that is not an absolute, I didn’t do it,” said Rodgers per ESPN.
Rodgers put together an MVP season, throwing for 4,299 yards and 48 touchdowns. He completed 70% of his passes, threw a league-low five interceptions, and led the league in QBR (84.3). He is going to receive his third MVP award when the award is announced in February. The Packers see Rodgers has a lot of legendary football in him and isn’t even thinking about Rodgers in a different uniform.
“There’s no way in heck that Aaron is not going to be on the Packers. I mean, he is going to be the MVP of the league. He might have had his best year ever. He’s our unquestioned leader, and, you know, we’re not idiots,” Packers president Mark Murphy said on WTAQ-WNFL, per ESPN.
Rodgers wants to come back and the Packers want him back. So it looks like he will be in Green Bay. Even though the words by Murphy are strong and show loyalty, that still isn’t enough. They need to show in the actions they are committed to Aaron Rodgers long-term.
The Packers could re-work Rodger’s contract
Aaron Rodgers currently has three years left on his current contract with the Packers. The structure of his deal is going to pay him less money on the backend. In 2021, Rodger will be due $22.35 million. He’s due $25.5 million in 2022 and $25.5 million in 2023. Those numbers reflect how underpaid Rodgers is. To put it in perspective, Rodgers will be making the same amount of money as Jared Goff.
Given the numbers of Rodger’s current contract, he is due a new deal. There have actually been rumors that he is looking for a new contract after his sensational season. This should be easy for Green Bay; give Rodgers a new deal that includes more guaranteed money and higher annual value. He deserves it, and it could help them out in multiple ways.
Rodgers has a $37 million cap hit in 2021, but that could be less if Green Bay gets No. 12 on a new contract. More importantly, a new contract is the Packers’ way of recommitting to Rodgers. That is something he has been looking for, especially after Jordan Love was drafted to the team.
One of the ways to show appreciation to someone is by filling their pockets. Green Bay is overdue on getting Rodgers a new contract. Getting him one will show the commitment to him for the next few years. If they don’t give him a new deal, the speculation will continue.
Green Bay could give Rodgers another receiver
The main gripe many have against the Packers in terms of Aaron Rodgers is that they haven’t given him adequate weapons at the pass-catching positions. Green Bay hasn’t drafted an offensive player in the first-round since Rodgers. The team hasn’t had success signing any big-name players from the free-agent market either. Other than star receiver Davante Adams, Green Bay lacks potency at receiver.
The Packers could finally get Rodgers another weapon at receiver. The free-agent market for receivers is going to have some notable names. It should be a high priority for Green Bay to get Rodgers another receiver. The last time Rodgers had two star receivers was Greg Jennings and Donal Driver. Imagine the carnage if Rodgers had Adams and another star receiver to go with him.
Adding another receiver does two things for the Packers. It gives Rodgers another weapon, showing their commitment to him and winning now. It also gives themselves a long-term player they can use for Jordan Love when it’s his time to come in. The Packers could kill two birds with one stone by adding a pass catcher.
The Packers don’t want to get rid of Aaron Rodgers after the kind of season he had. However, they must show their commitment to him through their actions, not words. If Green Bay does one, or both of these things, they will stop the speculation and prove to Rodgers that he is the long-term answer at quarterback.