The Green Bay Packers are racing against the clock in their pursuit of another contract extension with Aaron Rodgers, but the task of re-signing arguably the best quarterback in the league at a time when Kirk Cousins is about to reset the market could be precarious.
Would Rodgers strong-arm the Packers into giving him a top-dollar contract, or would he eat the home team discount in hopes of improving the talent around him?
The latter definitely wasn’t the case in 2013 when he signed a five-year deal for $110 million, but things could be different now that he is 34 years old with only one Super Bowl ring on his finger. The Packers aren’t taking any chances with Cousins and New Orleans Saints quarterback Drew Brees up for new contracts.
Brees is the least of their worries considering he loves New Orleans, and he’ll likely accept a short-term deal with less money. However, the same can’t be said about Cousins, a Pro Bowler with the prolific passing stats to goad a desperate team into handing over a blank check.
When speaking with Pro Football Talk’s Mike Florio, Packer general manager Brian Gutekunst admitted the team would like to get a deal done before Brees and Cousins. That could ultimately save the Packers from having to top whatever blockbuster deals pop up in the new league year.
“We’d like to do it sooner rather than later,” Gutekunst said at Wednesday’s NFL Scouting Combine. “When you have the best player in the sport, you’d like to lock him up and keep him a Packer for as long as he wants to be. I don’t know if there’s necessarily a timetable but the sooner, the better. [I think it’d be good to do it before Cousins and Brees], but I don’t know if that’s necessarily realistic.”
Gutekunst did follow those comments by acknowledging the Packers were more committed to keeping Rodgers despite the contract situation… not that anyone is surprised after the way the Brett Hundley situation played out in 2017.
Quarterbacks are playing longer in today’s NFL, and it wouldn’t be out of the realm of comprehension to see Rodgers reset the market with a five-year deal worth up to $150 million. That’s a long way from the $200 million contract rumors last year.
Cousins is aiming to reset the market by selling what he could bring to an NFL team. The Packers already know what Rodgers can do for them, and no one out there can do it better.