Rodgers not wor­ried about con­tract

Packer Plus - - News - MICHAEL CO­HEN

Four years later, it can be ar­gued that the Green Bay Pack­ers won twice when they agreed to a five-year, $110 mil­lion con­tract ex­ten­sion with quar­ter­back Aaron Rodgers in late April 2013.

First and fore­most, gen­eral man­ager Ted Thomp­son and chief ne­go­tia­tor Russ Ball se­cured the ser­vices of a player con­sid­ered among the best in the league at his po­si­tion, a le­git­i­mate face of the fran­chise whose pres­ence trans­lates to an­nual play­off ap­pear­ances and per­pet­ual rel­e­vance.

Se­condly, and per­haps just as im­por­tant in hind­sight, they worked with agent David Dunn to struc­ture a deal that didn’t hand­i­cap the ros­ter mov­ing for­ward. The Pack­ers re­main miles un­der the salary cap ev­ery year, a hall­mark of the Thomp­son-Ball era.

Rodgers, 33, is un­der con­tract through the 2019 sea­son, which means soon enough the two sides will meet to dis­cuss an­other ex­ten­sion.

“That stuff usu­ally takes care of it­self,” Rodgers said June 6. “When it comes to set­ting the mar­ket val­ues, I let that stuff take care of it­self. I know my value in this league and I know the team ap­pre­ci­ates me. I’m go­ing to con­tinue to make my­self an in­dis­pens­able part of this ros­ter. When you do that, when your time comes up to get a con­tract, you usu­ally get a con­tract ex­ten­sion.”

What seemed like a huge deal at the time has been brought to scale by sig­nif­i­cant in­creases in the salary cap. When Rodgers signed his deal in 2013, the cap stood at $123 mil­lion. Since then it has sky­rock­eted to $167 mil­lion.

As a re­sult, Rodgers’ per-year av­er­age of $22 mil­lion now ranks fifth in the league among quar­ter­backs, ac­cord­ing to over­the­cap.com. He trails An­drew Luck ($24.594 mil­lion), Drew Brees ($24.25 mil­lion), Kirk Cousins ($23.944 mil­lion) and Joe Flacco ($22.133 mil­lion).

The Pack­ers have $19.5 mil­lion in cap space af­ter sign­ing nine of their 10 draft picks, ac­cord­ing to the league’s salary-cap re­port. Once again, Thomp­son and Ball have am­ple space avail­able when­ever they pick up the phone to dis­cuss Rodgers’ next ex­ten­sion.

“We’re about $20 mil- lion un­der the cap, as usual, so we have plenty of room,” Rodgers said.

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