At this point in the offseason, everyone knows that Aaron Rodgers and the Green Bay Packers are not in a good place. Back on the first night of the NFL Draft, ESPN’s Adam Schefter first reported that Rodgers was unhappy. So unhappy, in fact, that he did not want to play for the Packers anymore. Since that time, many have tried to figure out exactly what went wrong between the two parties. Some suggested salary. Other suggested Jordan Love. Still others suggested Jake Kumerow. Aaron Rodgers, himself, admitted that it was due to philosophical differences in the way the organization treats its people.
The future Hall of Fame quarterback was a no-show at voluntary OTA’s. Instead, he went on vacation to Hawaii. Then, he skipped mandatory mini camp. That is when fans really started to sweat. Will Aaron Rodgers even come back to play this year? According to Mike Florio, Rodgers will come back if he is paid a huge amount of money.
🚨 #Packers QB Aaron Rodgers is reportedly demanding $90 million guaranteed over 2 years, which would make him the highest paid QB in football and cost the team 25% of their total cap. https://t.co/JHmuehCAdT
— J.J. Lahey 🧀 Packers Talk (@JJLahey) July 25, 2021
$90 million over two years. That is $45 million per season and, as J.J. Lahey points out, 25% of the Packers’ salary cap. Surly, this cannot be a reasonable demand, can it?
Some Uncomfortable Truths
The fact of the matter is this: Aaron Rodgers is the MVP of the NFL and certainly deserves to be the highest paid player. He is a future Hall of Famer who is still playing at an elite level. Furthermore, the Green Bay Packers are serious Super Bowl contenders with him on the roster. Without him, they may still compete. However, their level of success does not project to be as high without him.
On the other hand, the Packers are serious Super Bowl contenders because of how well the roster is constructed. They have the best left tackle under contract, a Pro Bowl defensive tackle, and one of the top running backs in the NFL. In short, they are a well-balanced team. Dedicating so much salary to Rodgers would upset that balance. Za’Darrius Smith, Preston Smith, and many other contributors would have to be moved in order to make that contract work.
The most uncomfortable truth of the demand is that Rodgers knows the Packers cannot and will not do it. Green Bay is still trying to figure out a way to convince Davante Adams to stay, though recent events point to them not being successful. In any case, while having a star quarterback certainly is a large piece in winning a Super Bowl, it is not the only piece. After all, the Baltimore Ravens won one with Trent Dilfer and the Chicago Bears made it to one with Rex Grossman.
Like It or Not, It Is Time to Trust the Front Office
16 years ago, the Packers were in a similar situation. Not identical, but similar. Five years later, they were Super Bowl Champions. Many fans detested the way the Packers treated Favre. Others detested the way Favre handled every offseason. At the end of the day, however, everyone celebrated that title.
Now, there is no guarantee that the Packers will win a Super Bowl shortly after the Aaron Rodgers era ends in Green Bay. There was no guarantee they would win one when it began either. The best we fans can do is sit back and enjoy the ride, no matter who is under center.
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