When Aaron Rodgers speaks, people tend to listen. Not just because he’s one of the best players in the entire NFL, but because few players can match his ability to articulate their thoughts in a conversant manner. The Green Bay Packers quarterback sat down with Kevin Clark from The Ringer to discuss current issues involving the league. Whether it be the national anthem policy or NFL hard salary cap, things would be unquestionably different if Rodgers was the commissioner. Perhaps for the better.
The 34-year-old quarterback’s main issue with today’s power structure is the lack of player involvement. Time and time again owners around the league make changes without consulting the players only creating more tension between the two.
“The owners shouldn’t be able to pass rules without ratifying it through the players,” Rodgers said.
He not only pointed to the national anthem policy but also practice time restrictions which directly affects the product on the field.
The NFL is not struggling in popularity, in fact, it is still dominant over every other major sports league. However, over the last few years, the sport has seen a decline in youth involvement and a rise in political turmoil that hinders public perception. Rodgers believes that more open communication could help.
“The league’s policy on player protests during the national anthem definitely falls into that category,” he said. “Especially for something like that—you need collaboration with the Players Association.”
Rodgers also proposed adopting a similar salary cap system to that of the NBA where there is no hard cap that allows players to move to different teams during the offseason. The NFL adopted the hard cap in 1993 to create more parity which has been a problem for the NBA of late with the rise of “super teams.”
However, Rodgers believes he has a way to counter that.
“I would allow teams to go over the cap knowing if they do, since there’s not a hard cap, they are going to be faced with some luxury tax issues and they’d change their strategy. It’s not like we’re hurting—just like the NBA, we’re not hurting for revenue. We’re doing excellent in the NFL and the NBA is doing fantastic as well.”
The quarterback would also do away with the team’s ability to franchise tag a player stating it actually hurts the franchise in the long run.
“I think if you didn’t have it, it would encourage teams to get deals done earlier and in the long run it actually might save them money,” he said. “Because you’re doing a guy’s deal a year before he’s ready to play, especially young guys. Maybe they get him for cheap and, if he has a huge season his last year, cheaper than they would have gotten him after that season, if you sign him early.”
His logic is hard to deny, and the league could go a long way in listening to what players like Rodgers have to say. At the very least it would create more transparency and improve the direction of the NFL.
___________________Brandon Carwile was a Cheesehead at birth. His dad grew up attending games at Lambeau and passed on the legacy. He has covered the Packers for over five years and currently works with packerstalk.com. Find him on twitter at @PackerScribe.