Packers QB Aaron Rodgers is going nowhere after this season concludes. No matter what the differences in opinion are about Rodgers and how well he is or isn’t doing this season, Rodgers is going to be with the Packers next season. With how this season has gone, many people are going to speculate on whether or not the four-time league MVP will be traded. Rumors will be shared. Speculation on his retirement will take place. This upcoming offseason will be an interesting one for sure. However, I believe, logically speaking, that Rodgers will be back under center for the Packers next season.
So why do I think Rodgers will be back for the Packers next year? Well let’s look at the many different methods in which Rodgers could leave. These include the following:
Let’s get into Aaron Rodgers’ contract with the team.
In 2023, Rodgers’ cap hit will be 31.6 million dollars with a 99.8 million dollar cap penalty. In 2024, Rodgers has a 40.7 million dollar cap hit with a 24.8 million dollar cap penalty. In 2025, Rodgers has a nearly 60 million dollar cap hit with a 16.3 million dollar cap penalty. In 2026, Rodgers has 53.4 million dollar cap hit with a 8.1 million dollar cap penalty.
Those cap penalties are where his contract hurts the most. Those penalties take place if Rodgers is not on the team anymore and they aren’t going anywhere because the money has already been paid to Rodgers through cap restructures and guarantees. This contract makes it very difficult for there to be an early separation between quarterback and team.
If Rodgers retires this offseason, prior to June 1st, then the Packers will have a cap hit of 40.3 million dollars on the 2023 season. That’s a huge slice of the cap for someone not even on the team. This could be helped if Rodgers retires officially after June 1st, where it would split the difference between 2023 and 2024. Retirement is the easiest path for the Packers to help reduce the significant cap hits in the future but it isn’t up to the Packers on whether Rodgers retires. It is up to Rodgers. So will Aaron Rodgers want to retire? I don’t think so.
If Rodgers plays next year then he will be guaranteed 59.5 million dollars. That is a lot of money for someone to give up. Secondly, would a competitor such as Rodgers want to end on a note like this year? I don’t think so. Finally, (not guaranteed) Tom Brady is looking like he might retire. Does Rodgers want to retire at the same time as Tom Brady?
This is the most likely way that Rodgers will find himself separated from the Green Bay Packers; I just don’t think it will happen.
The Packers simply cannot release Aaron Rodgers this offseason. I don’t think it is even financially possible to do so. They wouldn’t be able to get under the cap. If Rodgers were to be cut this offseason, the Packers would have a 99.8 million dollar cap penalty. It just isn’t possible.
I don’t think a trade is going to happen either. Rodgers can deny any trade that the Packers might put forth. Aaron Rodgers has already made statements how he feels confident that he will retire as a member of the Green Bay Packers. It may not even be in the best interest for the Packers to trade him because it would be a 40 million dollar cap penalty to trade him before June. The Packers would want to trade him prior to June 1st too for this year’s draft capital. A trade doesn’t seem like a good enough option unless the draft capital is considered worth it for the large cap hit. But once again, Rodgers can simply say no to a trade.
So What Now?
Aaron Rodgers is going to be the Packers quarterback next year. With his contract, the Packers will eventually have to pay. Regardless of when Aaron leaves, there will be a massive hit on the cap for a couple of years. Just when will that happen? Only time will tell. It won’t happen this offseason though.
On a positive note, Rodgers is still Aaron Rodgers and contrary to popular belief, he hasn’t been playing terribly despite his multiple injuries. If he can stay healthy with his emerging weapons, the Packers offense will be fine. Now the defense? That’s a whole different animal.——————
Damon is a diehard, fully-immersed cheesehead who currently lives in southern Missouri. He teaches at a local high school and has a family YouTube channel about all things Packers. You can follow him on twitter at @packersfamily and on YouTube at The Packers Family.