Rodgers, Packers working on deal for QB to return
Quarterback Aaron Rodgers and the Green Bay Packers are negotiating a revised contract by which the NFL's reigning most valuable player would end his offseason standoff with the team to report to training camp and play for the Packers during the upcoming season, according to a person familiar with the situation.
The deal, if completed, could set up Rodgers's potential departure from Green Bay after one or two more seasons. It was not clear Monday whether the negotiations would be finished in time for Rodgers to report to training camp Tuesday with fellow Packers players.
Rodgers's representatives and the team continued to work on the deal as of early Monday evening, according to the person with knowledge of the discussions. Rodgers was facing mandatory fines of $50,000 per day for a training-camp holdout, after missing a mandatory offseason minicamp.
ESPN reported that the 2023 season would be voided from Rodgers's current contract and the Packers would agree to review Rodgers's situation following the 2021 season. The Packers also would agree not to use the franchise player tag on him to limit his ability to depart the franchise, according to the ESPN report. The NFL Network reported earlier Monday that Rodgers had told close associates that he would play for the Packers during the 2021 season.
Team president Mark Murphy and general manager Brian Gutekunst told shareholders in the publicly owned franchise earlier Monday that they remained committed to Rodgers as the team's quarterback and were hopeful of a resolution with Rodgers and his representatives.
"We're committed to him for 2021 and beyond," Murphy said at Lambeau Field during the annual shareholders meeting.
Gutekunst told the shareholders that team officials were working tirelessly with Rodgers and his representatives to resolve the issues and were "hopeful" of a "positive" outcome.
During a subsequent news conference, Murphy said: "I'm hopeful that we'll have it all resolved."
Murphy declined to discuss details of the deliberations with reporters and said he did not know whether Rodgers would report to training camp on time. Asked why he was hopeful of a resolution, Murphy cited the "constant communications" between the two sides and noted that "training camp's about to start."
Murphy also reiterated that the Packers had no intention of trading Rodgers before this season.
"I would say we have been very clear we're not going to trade him," Murphy said.
Rodgers skipped the Packers' mandatory minicamp and other voluntary offseason team activities as part of the stalemate. He had said following the Packers' loss to the Tampa Bay Buccaneers in last season's NFC championship game that his future with the team was uncertain, and he later cited the team's culture as a reason for his concerns.
The Packers used a first-round draft choice last year on quarterback Jordan Love, who didn't play as a rookie while Rodgers secured his third league MVP award.
"With my situation, look, it's never been about the draft pick, picking Jordan," Rodgers said during a televised interview on ESPN in May. "I love Jordan. He's a great kid. Lot of fun to work together. I love the coaching staff, love my teammates, love the fan base in Green Bay. Incredible 16 years. It's just kind of about a philosophy. You know? And maybe forgetting that it is about the people that make the thing go."
Rodgers turns 38 in December. The deal could set up a send-off season for him in Green Bay. Rodgers and Packers wide receiver Davante Adams perhaps hinted at such a "Last Dance" scenario in recent days, with a social media post of former Chicago Bulls greats Michael Jordan and Scottie Pippen.
"Aaron Rodgers' 2023 contract year voiding means Packers will trade him next offseason before the NFL Draft or redo his deal before 2022 regular season starts (likely the former)," NFL salary cap and contracts expert Joel Corry, a former agent, wrote on Twitter. "There's no way Green Bay would let him leave in 2023 for just a 3rd round compensatory pick at best."
Rodgers's contract was to run through the 2023 season. It pays him a base salary of $14.7 million for the 2021 season, in addition to a roster bonus this year of $6.8 million. The deal was to contain salaries of $25 million in each of the 2022 and '23 seasons.
Stories that may interest you
Sam Darnold threw for 304 yards and ran for two touchdowns, and the Carolina Panthers eased past the Houston Texans 24-9 despite losing Christian McCaffrey to a hamstring injury early in the second quarter
The Minnesota Twins beat Toronto 7-2 to bump the Blue Jays back in the AL wild-card race
Brianna Turner made the winning free throw with less than a second to play, giving the Phoenix Mercury an 83-82 win over the New York Liberty in a first-round WNBA playoff game