Aaron Rodgers' New Contract: Speculation Says $100 Million Over 4 Years

Al Bello

Adam Schefter suggested on TV today that Aaron Rodgers might get a staggeringly lucrative contract extension.

Did you know that Aaron Rodgers needs a new contract? If not, you're either A: unable to understand the compensation system in the NFL or B: living in a cave in Antarctica. Rodgers is going to get paid, people, and there's no question that the Green Bay Packers will give him enough money to keep him a Packer for the foreseeable future. However, that amount of money didn't really set in for me until I saw this tweet:

Holy championship belts, Batman, that's an average of $25 million per year. That's about $5M more annually than the contract Joe Flacco just signed to make him the highest-paid player in football. There are only seven athletes in the four major sports whose contracts pay them $25 million or more per year, and all but one are baseball players - who play in a league with no salary cap. Here's the list in case you were curious:

Kobe Bryant ($27.8M)
Alex Rodriguez ($27.5M)
Matt Cain ($25.5M)
Felix Hernandez ($25M)
Albert Pujols ($25M)
Ryan Howard ($25M)
Josh Hamilton ($25M)

That is every player in all of major North American sports who will earn more money than what Rodgers would theoretically get on a contract of this magnitude. And you know what? I can't say he doesn't deserve it. The scary thing will be how Ted Thompson, who traditionally doesn't like to back-load contracts, figures out how to get $25 million in salary on the books in 2013 (and beyond), which equates to a little over one-fifth of the entire salary cap. Ted till needs to extend Clay Matthews and sign a rookie class before this off-season is out, and Green Bay only has about about $20 million in cap room to work with at present.

Then again, perhaps it's semantics. Perhaps the 4 years is how long this contract extends beyond 2013, and the $100 million is the total value including this season. That would make the deal worth around $20 million per year, a little more manageable and in line with the highest-paid NFL players.

In any case, Ted and company are going to have to write one big check very soon. I'm just still a little stunned that it could turn out to be a $25 million check each year.

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