As the Green Bay Packers continue to move through this offseason, questions concerning Aaron Rodgers‘ long-term future remain. The Packers have repeatedly publicly voiced their commitment to Rodgers to ease the situation. However, Green Bay’s latest $6.8 million move involving their star quarterback is quite telling.
Packers’ relatively quiet offseason
Following a disappointing playoff exit, the Green Bay Packers have been relatively quiet this offseason.
Green Bay quickly moved forward to secure the long-term future of star running back Aaron Jones on a four-year, $48 million deal. Jones reportedly left money on the table to stay with the Packers on a contract that will keep him in place through the 2024 campaign.
The team’s only other notable move in the open market is bringing back cornerback Kevin King on a one-year, $6 million deal. However, Green Bay has worked internally to free up more cap space this year through reworking several contracts.
The Packers converted Za’Darus Smith’s $14.26 million salary for the 2021 season into a signing bonus, creating $7.38 million in cap room. The front office also moved outside linebacker Preston Smith’s salary and bonuses into incentives, opening up $4 million in cap space. Meanwhile, the team turned guard Billy Turner’s $4.4 million salary into a bonus to clear up $3.5 million.
Green bay also converted safety Adrian Amos’s $1.5 million roster bonus into a signing bonus, creating $750,000 of cap space. Although the Packers haven’t exactly made much noise this offseason, it’s what they didn’t do with star quarterback Aaron Rodgers that is most telling.
The Packers’ $6.8 Million move told Aaron Rodgers all he needed to know
Over nearly the last year, there has remained significant attention on Aaron Rodgers’ contract situation with Green Bay.
The Packers haven’t exactly moved toward securing their star quarterback’s long-term future by ensuring he will have further security through the length of his deal. Instead, the front office has remained relatively quiet on that front this offseason.
According to Rob Demovsky of ESPN, the Packers elected not to convert Rodgers’ $6.8 million roster bonus into a signing bonus before it was paid out last Friday. The move would have saved the team $4.5 million in salary-cap space this year.
Although it doesn’t change anything for Rodgers’ current contract situation, it does show that the Packers don’t want to add more money to the final two years of his deal in 2022 and 2023. The 37-year-old holds a $17.2 million dead cap hit next year and $2.8 million for the 2023 campaign.
If anything, the lack of movement speaks to the team attempting to keep their options open. The team could certainly still rework Rodgers’ remaining deal, but as of right now, Green Bay may have other plans.
Uncertainty still lies ahead
In Green Bay, the scrutiny remains on the Packers’ handling of Aaron Rodgers’ contract situation.
Rodgers has continued to voice his unwavering desire to remain with the franchise for the rest of his career. However, he has also acknowledged that opportunity may not come due to the organization possibly eyeing another direction in the years ahead.
Since the end of last season, the Packers have continued to publicly voice that Rodgers is still the franchise’s future. These words have helped put some of the situation at ease, but their actions haven’t fully backed that notion.
Rodgers’ contract situation still has the option for the Packers to get out before the deal ends in 2023. Green Bay ultimately holds all the cards with the reigning NFL MVP’s future, and their lack of action isn’t exactly promising for his tenure moving forward.