Green Bay, Wes. Since today’s story is that Nathaniel Hackett became coach of the Denver Broncos and his potential interest in acquiring Aaron Rodgers, there are two more ingredients.
One is what the Packers would get in return if Rodgers actually requested a trade and General Manager Brian Gutkunst got it. (We’re working on this angle.)
The second is financial. The Packers have significantly exceeded the salary line — $50.3 million, according to OverTheCap.com, and $46.3 million, according to Spotrac. Additional allocation of money will be required to obtain the draft class under the contract.
Rodgers’ trading would be beneficial to the finances if not the field product. His maximum fee for 2022, his final season under a revised contract agreed last summer, is about $46.66 million. This represents 22% of the team’s cap. Its trading will generate $19.82 million in savings.
How do you get this number? When a player is let go, their base salary is omitted from the salary cap but the prorated amount of their signing bonus is paid up to the current year’s cap. In Rodgers’ case, there is $19.17 million of signing bonus over the 2022 salary cap and $7.67 million of signing bonus moved to the 2023 cap as part of the vacuum season introduced in last summer’s restructuring to help with the 2021 salary cap. That’s roughly $26.84 million in “dead money” on the cap. Subtract that number from his maximum fee of $46.66 million and you get $19.82 million to ease the ceiling.
If Rodgers stays with the Packers, it should be with a long-term extension in line with the team’s goal – which coach Matt Lafleur stated on Monday – to keep Rodgers at Green Bay until his retirement.
CBSSports.com’s Joel Corey, a former NFL agent, presented a potential extension for Rodgers this week. He envisioned a four-year extension that would include a record signing bonus of $75 million. That means $75 million divided over five seasons (2022 and a four-year extension through the 2026 season) for accounting purposes, or $15 million per season. If Rodgers receives a base salary for 2022 of approximately $1.47 million, that would reduce Rodgers’ cap figure for the upcoming season by exactly $10 million.
Another option, discussed by Corey via the DM, is to use lower signing bonuses but huge bonuses at the start of the league. The four-year extension with a $25 million signing bonus means $5 million per season. Following Corey’s lead, if Rodgers gets his 2022 base salary around $1.47 million, he’ll lower his cap figure next season by exactly $20 million.
Packers could raise money and earn a Curie figure of $75 million with $25 million in existing bonuses at the start of the league year in 2023 and 2024. Packers could pay this money and take advantage of expected steep increases in the salary cap, or they could transfer bonuses The list includes signature bonuses when due, allowing this money to be distributed over the final years of the contract for capping purposes.
Spotrac also put a few options for the maximum salary.
Finally, Rodgers could take less money to help in his quest for an elusive second Super Bowl win. As Corey noted, that’s what Drew Brees did towards the end of his career. That would be the ideal scenario from the team’s perspective, obviously, although Rodgers didn’t give the team much, if any, of the opponent. By comparison, Tom Brady has played under contracts for less than the market for years. His two-year deal with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers is worth $50 million, or $25 million a season.
The extension that Rodgers signed before the 2018 season is worth $33.5 million per season. That difference of $8.5 million could pay a really good player.