The Green Bay Packers are working on a restructured contract with Aaron Rodgers, according to a report today from NFL Network’s Mike Silver. In an appearance today, Silver said the Packers and Rodgers have been working on a deal, “but it’s a tricky situation because it will also reveal what they think about the future.”
The “tricky” part no doubt refers to the Packers’ exit plans from the Aaron Rodgers era, such as they are. Brian Gutekunst and the team made it clear they’re thinking about post-Rodgers life last spring when they selected Jordan Love in the first round, though Gutekunst has repeatedly been hesitant to put a timeline on things — and rightly so. With Rodgers playing at an MVP level, there’s little reason to move on, so a restructure that gives Rodgers more money now while providing the Packers some flexibility to build around him is about as close to a win-win as you can get.
But as simple as this report may be on its face, there’s an added complication. A simple restructure — converting base salary into a bonus — doesn’t require any negotiation. As long as a player doesn’t have any provisions against it, teams don’t need permission to complete such a restructure. There is no negotiation, it just happens.
If the Packers are “working on” something with Rodgers, though, that could mean there are additional elements in the works, as Jason Fitzgerald of Over the Cap points out.
Of the #Packers are having discussions with Rodgers on a restructure there has to be more to it. Either they need void years or they are looking to do an extension. They have the right to convert the $ within the framework of his current contract— Jason_OTC (@Jason_OTC) March 22, 2021
Still, as the second wave of free agency wears on, it’s hard to take news — such as it is — that the Packers and Rodgers have been in touch as anything other than a positive. Brian Gutekunst has said for months he believes the Packers will be in play for free agents this spring. For that to happen, they need cap space, and reworking Aaron Rodgers’ contract is the most straightforward way to make that happen.