To paraphrase XFL star Cardale Jones, Aaron Rodgers isn’t here to play offseason. According to multiple reports from ESPN, the Green Bay Packers’ star quarterback and player rep with the NFLPA fought for more offsets in exchange for a 17-game schedule pushed by league owners.
Dan Graziano first reported Rodgers’ insistent voice surrounding the extended schedule, while Adam Schefter later reported that Rodgers was among the most vociferous opponent to the deal, particularly surrounding offseason work requirements.
Owners agreed to lift a previously proposed cap on 17th game earnings, which had been $250,000, a fraction of what Rodgers would be owed for a game check. They also agreed to form a committee to study injury data, but for Rodgers that wasn’t enough to compensate for the added wear and tear on player’s bodies.
Rodgers famously (or infamously, depending on the fan you ask) despises the preseason, though he’s rigorous about expecting his teammates to be studying so they know where to be at all times on every play. He also has previously suggested the Thursday games are bad for players health. His goal, according to Schefter’s report, was to reduce the burden of mandatory requirements on players’ time, and thus, their bodies.
More free time means more autonomy for players, as well as more opportunities to rest.
The player vote, conducted by the 32 reps, one from each team, passed by a narrow margin, 17-14 with one abstention. As Graziano notes in his report, this version of the CBA is expected to pass the full player vote, considering 60-65% of the league’s players work on minimum salaries and those minimums would increase by around $100,000 in 2020.
UPDATE: Rodgers addressed this report by tweeting a statement explaining his concerns about the CBA proposal.