Both Aaron Rodgers and the Green Bay Packers knew that the next contract between them would set a new high mark for quarterbacks, but they didn’t know exactly where the number would fall. Part of that process involved waiting for the Atlanta Falcons and Matt Ryan to hammer out a deal and set the floor from which Rodgers could negotiate.
Now, the Packers and Rodgers know what numbers to top. According to NFL Network’s Mike Garafolo, Ryan has agreed to a five-year, $150 million deal ($100 million guaranteed) that will keep him in Atlanta through 2023. The extension clears one of the final obstacles standing in the way of a new contract for Rodgers.
The Packers already felt that they would have a new pact with Rodgers done before the start of the 2018 season. During an appearance on PFT Live, general manager Brian Gutekunst said that “both sides are working towards [an agreement] and we’re confident we’ll come to an agreement soon.” Rodgers currently has two years remaining on his deal.
Rodgers’ contract set a new record for average value in 2013, coming in at $22 million per year. Since then, nine quarterbacks have eclipsed Rodgers in that metric, most recently Kirk Cousins ($28 million), Jimmy Garoppolo ($27.5 million), and Drew Brees ($25 million). It seems overwhelmingly likely that Rodgers will set a new high mark for average annual value and become the second player to reach the $30 million threshold.
However, Rodgers could elect to take a shorter deal than Ryan and force the Packers to negotiate again before his 40th birthday. Doing so would better keep the quarterback’s contract in line with salary-cap inflation and the related grown in quarterback compensation. The two sides might also come down on a different figure for guaranteed compensation.
Regardless of what form it takes, Rodgers and the Packers should have a new deal done soon.