Ever since the Green Bay Packers lost to the San Francisco 49ers in the NFC Divisional Round, all questions have been around the future of Aaron Rodgers in Green Bay. Okay, those questions really started before this season began, but they've certainly amplified over the past six weeks. And today, Rodgers finally gave us an answer: He's not going anywhere.
NFL Network's Ian Rapoport reported Rodgers and the Packers agreed to a four-year, $200 million deal that makes him the highest-paid player in NFL history. Jay Glazer added the money will be spread out evenly, meaning Rodgers will earn $50 million per year. The contract reportedly includes $153 million in guaranteed money and will cause Rodgers' cap number to go down, freeing up space for the Packers to sign (or re-sign) other players to help their quarterback.
But the way Rodgers himself tells it, those reports are inaccurate, and the deal is not worth $200 million. In fact, he says he hasn't even signed a contract yet. Rodgers' friend Pat McAfee, who recently signed a massive deal of his own, also tweeted that the $200 million number was false.
Hey everyone, just wanted to clear some things up; YES I will be playing with the @packers next year, however, reports about me signing a contract are inaccurate, as are the supposed terms of the contract I "signed". I'm very excited to be back 💪🏼 #year18❤️
— Aaron Rodgers (@AaronRodgers12) March 8, 2022
If the reports are, in fact, true, Rodgers will make more guaranteed money in this contract ($153 million) than his Green Bay predecessor Brett Favre made during his entire career ($141 million). Rodgers would also hit $463 million in career earnings by the time this contract is done, making him the first NFL player whose career earnings will top $400 million. Combined with his endorsement deals, Rodgers very likely could have made $600 million by the time he hangs up his cleats for good.
Of course, this isn't the first time Rodgers has gotten caught up in misinformation. Earlier this year, a reporter asked if Rodgers was vaccinated since unvaccinated players had to undergo rigorous testing from the NFL to play in games. Rodgers replied, "Yeah, I've been immunized." Later in the season, it was revealed he hadn't actually received the vaccine. Rodgers also stirred the pot by making a "COVID toe" comment during an appearance on McAfee's podcast, only to lash out against the media, particularly a Wall Street Journal article, that reported on his comments. Rodgers erroneously called out Molly Knight, a former reporter of The Athletic, as the author of the article, instead of WSJ's Andrew Beaton.
So, until the actual financials of the deal are filed with the league, there's still just a bit of lingering doubt. It wouldn't be surprising if Rodgers took a smaller deal so the Packers could sign some additional offensive firepower and offensive line help around him. The team placed the franchise tag on star receiver Davante Adams, so Rodgers will have his favorite target back. With a lower salary for their quarterback, the team could presumably sign a few more key pieces.
Then again, it wouldn't be surprising if Rodgers does indeed end up making $200 million over the coming years, and only said the reports were inaccurate because of a minor detail like he hadn't yet put pen to paper. He's a guy, who, by his own admission, marches to the beat of his own drum. Nothing he says should be surprising.
That should make for a whole lot more entertainment over the coming years.