In 2013, Green Bay Packers quarterback Aaron Rodgers signed his most recent contract extension, which added five years and $110 million onto his existing deal. That $22 million per year average was a new record at the time, and he also got an NFL-record $62.5 million in guaranteed money.
Given the recent increases in spending across the NFL — particularly on quarterbacks — Rodgers is due for a new deal even with three years remaining on his current contract. As a comparison, Lions quarterback Matthew Stafford just signed a new record deal, a five-year, $135 million extension (which equates to $27 million per year).
Rodgers’ new contract will likely be negotiated next summer, and should again set a new NFL record in both total and guaranteed money. Spotrac currently has the best estimate of Rodgers’ potential deal, which puts him at $150 million total over five years — a $30 million per year average.
Now, to put these deals into context, we need to compare the inflation of QB contracts with the inflation of the salary cap. The best way to do this in simple terms is by calculating the percent of the team cap in the first year of the deal — simply divide the average yearly compensation by the base team cap number. Admittedly this does not take into account the structure of the contract, as these deals tend to be somewhat back-loaded, but it’s at least a way to directly compare different contracts from different times.
This gives us the following:
Average salary: $22M/year
2013 base cap number: $123M
Percent of team cap: 17.9%
Possible 2018 extension
Comparing this to the Stafford deal, we can see that Rodgers’ projected contract and the expected increase in the cap puts the two pretty closely on par:
Average salary: $27M/year
2017 base cap number: $167M
Percent of team cap: 16.2%
Based on all the numbers above, you can see that the impact on the cap of a potential $30 million per year contract extension will be less overall than the impact of Rodgers’ $22M/year extension in 2013, while being just slightly more impactful against the cap than Stafford’s new deal. A deal like this should allow the Packers to maintain the same relative level of financial commitments to other positions across the roster in 2018 and beyond.