Packers Rumors: Aaron Rodgers Brings Up His Contract Again

When Aaron Rodgers signs his next contract with the Packers, it will be the fourth and potentially final deal between the two sides.

In a new interview with ESPN’s Rob Demovsky, Rodgers doesn’t seem too worried about his fourth deal with Green Bay.

“Well, that stuff usually takes care of itself, and I have a fantastic agent, he does a great job. He worries about that stuff,” Rodgers said on Tuesday.

In March, comments by Rodgers were interpreted by many that he wants his contract re-done.

Let’s examine what we know about the quarterback and a new deal.

Rodgers' rich 2013 contract now looks a little sad

Rodgers’ current contract, signed in 2013, added five additional years onto two remaining years from his 2008 contract. While some report the 2013 deal as seven years at $120 million, the new money and years from the pact represented five-years, $110 million.

Semantics aside, Rodgers was the highest-paid player in NFL history at the time he agreed to the extension. His stay at the top of the list didn’t last long, and now most who follow NFL salaries consider him to be underpaid.

Last season, Pro Football Focus ranked Rodgers’ contract as one of the top three most team-friendly quarterback deals.

Using Spotrac’s career earnings tool, Rodgers ranks tenth in all-time earnings, and eighth among quarterbacks. The Packers quarterback has earned $123,832,029, and is looking up at the following:

  1. QB Eli Manning: $205,780,004 in 13 years
  2. QB Tom Brady: $196,166,804 in 17 years
  3. QB Drew Brees: $181,710,422 in 16 years
  4. QB Philip Rivers: $173,917,656 in 13 years
  5. QB Ben Roethlisberger: $158,286,864 in 13 years
  6. QB Carson Palmer: $156,648,722 in 14 years
  7. LB Julius Peppers: $155,973,786 in 15 years
  8. WR Larry Fitzgerald: $140,296,387 in 13 years
  9. QB Matt Ryan: $133,707,925 in 9 years
  10. QB Aaron Rodgers: $123,832,029 in 12 years

The reason Rodgers ranks so low on this list is because of the contract he signed as a rookie. Taken 24th overall, the Packers signed him to a five-year, $7.655 million deal in 2005. The year before, Eli Manning was drafted with the first overall pick and signed a six-year, $54 million deal.

Just another chip on the shoulder for Rodgers.

Expect a large signing bonus in Rodgers’ next deal

The Packers organization, according to Tom Silverstein in a 2013 analysis of Rodgers’ contract, generally claim their small-market status as a disadvantage when it comes to long-term deals.

Green Bay has preferred to give free agents large, one-time signing bonuses using the $275 million in cash reserves (as of June 2016):

  • Aaron Rodgers, 2013: $35 million signing bonus (32% of the contract’s value)
  • Clay Matthews, 2013: $20.5 million signing bonus (31%)
  • Mike Daniels, 2015: $12 million signing bonus (29%)
  • David Bakhtiari, 2016: $15 million signing bonus (31%)
  • Nick Perry, 2017: $18.5 million signing bonus (31%)

Compare this with some of the top quarterback contracts signed around the NFL:

  • Andrew Luck, 2016: $32 million signing bonus (26% of the contract’s value)
  • Cam Newton, 2015: $22.5 million signing bonus (21%)
  • Jay Cutler, 2014: No signing bonus (0%)
  • Joe Flacco, 2013: $29 million signing bonus (24%)

The Packers have preferred to write big checks at the start of a player’s contract than be on the hook years down the line. It’s a shrewd financial move for an organization based in a city of 100,000.

When will the Packers and Rodgers announce a new contract?

Rodgers’ comments about Chicago Bears quarterback Mike Glennon’s contract sparked a micro-controversy. Some interpreted what he said as demanding a new deal, but the quarterback stomped the theory out on Twitter:

The two sides announced his 2013 contract extension in April, but negotiations had started shortly after the 2012 season concluded.

If the same holds true this time around, expect a deal at the beginning of next offseason.