It is well documented that the quality of a quarterback can either propel his team to championship contention or relegate them to also-ran status. However, similarly important is the nature of the signal caller's contract. The value of a good quarterback can be significantly negated if his deal prevents the team from building up the talent around him. The Green Bay Packers don't have such concerns, as Aaron Rodgers has a very manageable contract for his talent level. ESPN's Mike Sando recently ranked it the best deal among veteran deals for his position.
Based purely on bang for buck, some quarterbacks still on their rookie deals (Andrew Luck, Russell Wilson) remain better values than Rodgers. However, among quarterbacks on their second contract, Sando believes the Packers' franchise player outpaces them all. That's impressive, considering that Rodgers' deal ranks first in average money per year (APY) and true guarantees while finishing third in three-year APY.
So how does a player making the most as his position constitute the best value? Well, Rodgers second MVP season probably had a lot to do with it. Even on a badly injured calf, he pushed the Packers to the brink of their second Super Bowl appearance in five years. The structure of Rodgers' deal also helps, as Sando explains:
Rodgers had two years remaining on his previous deal when he negotiated this one. That helped the Packers get reasonable terms for the best quarterback in the game, with much of his salary compressed into the final two years, when it is not guaranteed.
The other quarterbacks in the top three, Tom Brady and Ben Roethlisberger, have also won Super Bowls. The only other players listed in the top 10 to win a championship are Eli and Peyton Manning, ranked eighth and ninth respectively.