Aaron Rodgers is staying with the Green Bay Packers, but it wasn’t before exploring other options.
NFL Media’s Ian Rapoport reported Tuesday, citing sources, that Rodgers has agreed to a four-year, $200 million contract extension with the Packers. The deal, which includes $153 million guaranteed, makes Rodgers the highest-paid player in NFL history.
No-brainer for Rodgers, right? Well, according to Rapoport, it “was no easy decision” for the reigning back-to-back MVP, who also considered retirement and joining the Denver Broncos before ultimately sticking with the only NFL franchise he’s ever known.
“This was not an easy decision for Aaron Rodgers — something that he really weighed heavily, heavily for the last several months,” Rapoport said Tuesday on NFL Network. “There were some real options. Retirement was an option. Going to the Denver Broncos was an option, as well. But in the end, thanks in part to so much of the work that the Green Bay Packers have done to make sure that Aaron Rodgers has been in the fold, appreciated, part of everything that they are doing, all of that, this is a part of the reason — a lot of the reason — why Aaron Rodgers ultimately decided earlier this morning to return to the Green Bay Packers, informing some friends and then informing the Packers.”
The Packers obviously are shelling out a ton of cash, but Rodgers’ new deal reportedly is front-loaded, in turn lowering his salary-cap number for the 2022 season. This should give Green Bay extra financial flexibility to take care of other matters, like re-signing wide receiver Davante Adams.
Rodgers, a four-time MVP and 10-time Pro Bowl selection, already is one of the greatest quarterbacks of all time. Now, it seems very likely the 38-year-old will finish his career where it started, despite rumors and speculation suggesting he might force a trade and take his talents elsewhere.
The Broncos were heavily linked to Rodgers throughout his decision process, and it’s obviously good news for the other teams in the AFC West — the Kansas City Chiefs, Los Angeles Chargers and Las Vegas Raiders — that he opted against forcing his way to Denver. One could argue the Broncos are poised to take the next step in 2022, with quarterback uncertainty being their most glaring flaw.
Rodgers is coming off a 2021 season in which he threw for 4,115 yards with 37 touchdowns to just four interceptions while leading the Packers to the No. 1 seed in the NFC. The legendary QB again came up short in his quest for a second Super Bowl ring, though, as Green Bay lost to the San Francisco 49ers in the divisional round of the NFL playoffs.