The deal is now finally done. After last Tuesday’s revelation that Aaron Rodgers was going to return to the Green Bay Packers in 2022, reports swirled about him signing a four-year contract worth $200 million — however, Rodgers himself refuted those initial reports. Instead, it took another week for him to sign his new deal, but it is now done and it gives the Packers some massive salary cap relief with Wednesday’s deadline looming.
According to Ian Rapoport of NFL Network, Rodgers’ deal is a four-year extension running through 2026, but with two so-called “placeholder” years added on to the end of the contract for salary cap purposes. Effectively, this makes the deal a two-year extension through 2024, paying him a total of $150.6 million in compensation over the next three years.
The placeholder years, as described, appear to be functionally equivalent to void years, helping to spread out the cap hit of Rodgers’ signing bonus over the next five seasons overall. The expectation is that Rodgers will retire following the three functional years of the contract or else will work on a new contract for after the 2024 season if he continues to play after that point.
As a result of the contract’s structure, Rapoport further notes that the cap hit in 2022 on Rodgers’ deal will be just $28.5 million, a massive reduction from the $46.7 million cap number he held prior to signing the extension.
After the Packers’ Monday transactions, the Packers sat an estimated $22 million over the cap ahead of the 4 PM Wednesday deadline. This extension for Rodgers wipes away almost all of that overage, as the approximately $18.2 million in cap savings drops the Packers to within just a few million of the cap. That will allow for the Packers to get under by Wednesday with just a few more moves, even when they issue a few tenders to exclusive-rights and restricted free agents.
Stay tuned over the next 30 hours or so as we follow the rest of the Packers’ moves heading into Wednesday’s cap deadline.