Aaron Rodgers: Contract extension will 'take care of itself'
GREEN BAY - 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 of 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.
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Rodgers, 33, is under contract through the 2019 season, which means soon enough the two sides will meet at the negotiating table to discuss another extension.
“That stuff usually takes care of itself,” Rodgers said Tuesday. “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.”
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What seemed like an enormous 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 million under the cap, as usual, so we have plenty of room,” Rodgers said. “Obviously, we signed the last deal knowing that it was a good deal for both sides. If you look at some of the cap numbers around the league with guys who signed in similar time periods, the percentage of the cap was notably higher than my deal. You obviously keep that in mind.”