When Aaron Rodgers signed his landmark Green Bay Packers extension during the 2013 offseason, it represented the richest deal in NFL history. He’s since been surpassed by several quarterbacks on the salary spectrum — each less accomplished in terms of NFL success.
Matthew Stafford became the latest passer to lower Rodgers’ place on the totem pole, signing a five-year extension with the Detroit Lions on Monday night to raise the NFL salary bar to $27 million per year. Rodgers currently earns $22 million annually as part of his five-year, $110 million pact from four years ago.
Rodgers does not expect the Packers to renegotiate his deal soon to restore order.
“How it affects me? I think we’re a couple of years away (from renegotiation),” Rodgers said — via Alex Marvez of the Sporting News — regarding how the latest quarterback contract shapes his status in Green Bay.
“I know how this team operates. They take care of the guys who are their core guys. I think I’m one of those guys.”
While it’s quite obvious he is one of those core players, Rodgers probably wouldn’t have to be a “couple years away” from a redone contract if he pushed for one. But it’s not like he’s stuck on a rookie deal.
The 33-year-old future Hall of Famer ranks sixth in terms of per-year earnings — seventh if the Washington Redskins-Kirk Cousins arrangement counts — and each of those quarterback contracts came after he signed his in a year when the NFL salary cap rested at $123 million. It’s now at $167 million after a record spike, one that could precede a jump to close to $180 million by 2018.
Teams aren’t big on redoing contracts with more than one year remaining on them, and Rodgers’ deal runs through 2019.
“It’s negotiations,” Rodgers said, via Marvez. “You negotiate based on what you’ve done, what other people have done. I don’t handle that. My agent handles that. I don’t worry about that stuff. If it’s meant to happen here, it’s going to happen here. I think it is and I want it to. But again, that stuff takes care of itself. You play well enough, you get another contract.”
Rodgers is squarely in his prime right now and will be 35 by the time he’s entering his contract year. So while a new deal now or in 2018 makes sense to capitalize on future prime years, Rodgers re-signing in 2019 would probably be for a salary eclipsing $30 million per year.