The negotiation over Aaron Rodgers’ next contract has finally reached its conclusion. According to NFL Network’s James Jones, the Green Bay Packers and Rodgers have agreed to a four-year extension worth $134 million in new money. As part of the deal, Rodgers will receive $80 million between signing and March 2019, according to NFL Network’s Mike Garafolo.
The deal, which reportedly includes over $100 million in guarantees, shatters the previous record for highest average annual value ($30 million per year, held by the Atlanta Falcons’ Matt Ryan). It remains unclear whether Rodgers’ new contract replaces his old one or simply attaches additional years and money to the existing agreement. In the latter scenario, the Packers would have their franchise signal-caller on the books through the 2023 season at a total cost of nearly $175.7 million. Such a contract would keep Rodgers in Green Bay through his 40th birthday.
It remains unclear whether Rodgers secured any provisions in the agreement that would make him a free agent before the end of the agreement or any escalators should another player or players succeed him as the league’s top earner. The quarterback never publicly discussed such clauses, but reports suggested that he sought some modicum of player control not unlike what top players enjoy in the NBA. Though possible, such a concession appear unlikely given the Packers had Rodgers signed through two more seasons and could use the franchise tag for up to three additional years.
Regardless of what the fine print reads, the Packers now have the most important player secured to a new deal, concluding one of the dominant narratives of the offseason and extending their window of title contention for the foreseeable future.