Aaron Rodgers: Perhaps a Massive Extension Would Solve Everything

GREEN BAY, WISCONSIN - JANUARY 24: Aaron Rodgers #12 of the Green Bay Packers drops back to pass in the first quarter against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers during the NFC Championship game at Lambeau Field on January 24, 2021 in Green Bay, Wisconsin. (Photo by Dylan Buell/Getty Images)
GREEN BAY, WISCONSIN - JANUARY 24: Aaron Rodgers #12 of the Green Bay Packers drops back to pass in the first quarter against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers during the NFC Championship game at Lambeau Field on January 24, 2021 in Green Bay, Wisconsin. (Photo by Dylan Buell/Getty Images) /

When it comes to Aaron Rodgers and the Green Bay Packers, the rumor mill has been churning for a week now. Trying to decipher what is real and what isn’t has been challenging, to say the least. But when looking at this situation in its simplest form, we do absolutely know that Rodgers is unhappy.

There is likely a myriad of reasons that have contributed to Rodgers’ frustrations that have now boiled over into reported trade demands rather than one singular event that sent the relationship between the two parties spiraling out of control.

With Rodgers supposedly wanting out and the Green Bay Packers supposedly unwilling to trade him, we find ourselves in a stalemate. So that begs the question, what can be done to save this relationship? Or Is there even anything that can be done at this point?

My guess is that at this time, most would venture to say no. But one possible solution that I haven’t seen discussed much, but is a rather simple one, is more money.

I’m sure many believe that this is about more than money for Rodgers, and I would agree with that sentiment. However, with money comes control, something that Rodgers had taken away from him with the selection of Jordan Love.

By adding Love to the mix, it became clear that the Packers’ timeline and Rodgers’ timeline didn’t necessarily align. At the time of that selection, Rodgers still had four years left on his contract, but with how the deal was structured, Green Bay does have the opportunity to get out of the contract as soon as 2021, and the amount of savings they can reap grows with each passing year—allowing them to transition to Love whenever they feel that the time is right, and in a way, leaving Rodgers in limbo.

However, as Rodgers put it, he threw a bit of a wrench into those plans with his MVP season. As a result, this gave Rodgers back some of the control, and now he is trying to maximize that leverage, driving a narrative that he wants out of town.

Of the many reports to surface over the last week, one of them is that initially, the Packers just wanted to restructure Rodgers’ deal, but he wanted an extension—and understandably so. Eventually, Green Bay came around, but by that time, it was too late for Rodgers.

Could that have been the last straw that broke the proverbial camel’s back? Possibly. But all we know is that Green Bay offered an extension; we do not know the structure of it. Perhaps, even with new money added, the timelines between the two parties still didn’t line up–just maybe, the Packers still had the opportunity to move on from Rodgers sooner than what he wanted. And I believe more than anything, that’s what this comes down to. Rodgers wants job security, just like we all do.

While money may not be the driving force or motivation for the quarterback who has more than $240 million in career earnings, it does mean job security. By receiving a massive extension, with more years and more new money, it takes away Green Bay’s ability to move on from him when they please–the dead cap charges simply wouldn’t allow them to.

There have been a few recent reports to back this idea up; I didn’t just totally make it up out of thin air. The first comes from Jordan Schultz of ESPN, who spoke with an anonymous GM, who had this to say:

"“No I don’t (think he’s traded). I think he stays. Wouldn’t surprise me if they made him highest paid player at some point.”"

If one GM believes this, then perhaps others do as well, and that would explain why only two teams have reached out to the Green Bay Packers about trading for Rodgers. Sure, Brian Gutekunst said that they weren’t trading him, but if you thought there was a possibility, you should still be reaching out and putting an offer in front of Green Bay. We’ve heard no such reports about that.

Former Packer and now broadcaster John Kuhn shared similar sentiments after speaking with CBS Sports radio. Kuhn, who spoke with Rodgers this week, shared this bit of information:

"“I truly believe Aaron wants to come back to Green Bay, but he doesn’t want to do it on a lame-duck contract…I think he wants more insurance that he’s going to be a long-term starting quarterback option for the Green Bay Packers, and that I believe is something that would intrigue him into making amends with the team and come back this season,” said Kuhn via Packers Wire.“Right now is his best chance, at the age of 37, to try and ensure his career in Green Bay does get to 40.”"

Kuhn would also add that he still believes that there is an “opportunity” for both sides to work this out, but it would require “drastic measures” to do so. What that possibly entails, we will see, but my guess is that he was speaking from both a financial standpoint as well as implying that Rodgers and Gutekunst have to find a way to compromise.

As we all know, the Green Bay Packers are under a serious cap crunch again in 2022, but hopefully, receive some relief in 2023 when the new TV deal goes into effect. What an extension for Rodgers could look like; I’m not sure how much it’s going to take or how many years will need to be added. But from the sounds of it, if this is going to work, it will need to eliminate Green Bay’s ability to move on from him for the next three to four years.

If a massive new extension is what it will take for the Green Bay Packers to keep Aaron Rodgers in town, then that’s an easy decision–you do it. He’s coming off an MVP season at the most important position in football and in the highly quarterback-friendly Matt LaFleur offense, it’s difficult to envision his play dropping off so steeply that this becomes a major concern.

Sure, at 37-years-old and still with three years left on his current contract, there is risk involved. However, given what we last saw from Rodgers on the football field, I wouldn’t categorize it as a high risk, and it’s certainly one worth taking. But again, that is if this can actually solve this issue.