The Green Bay Packers have signed Aaron Rodgers to a long-term contract and the team has the easiest schedule in the NFL in 2013 - April Fools!
While Rodgers is very, very close to signing – in fact, news today indicates the Packers and Rodgers were just $2 million apart in negotiations – it hasn’t happened yet.
And the Packers actually have the sixth toughest schedule in the league next year.
According to Ian Rappaport of nfl.com, the Packers are offering just a bit more than $21 million, while Rodgers’ camp is in the $23 million range. It’s not clear how long the deal will be struck for, but it appears, according to new details that the biggest hurdle is figuring out how much to pay Rodgers over the course of the first two years of the contract. According to Rodgers’ current deal, he is scheduled to make $19.75 million in 2013 and 2014. That’s grossly underpaid when comparing him to the other top 5 quarterbacks in the league.
The Packers, we’re sure, want to wrap this up as soon as possible so they can move on to getting linebacker Clay Matthews inked to a new deal. B.J. Raji could also be in the Packers targets for a new deal. According to Rappaport, once all three are signed, they could account for one-quarter of $1 billion … We wonder what Vince Lombardi would think of that.
Though we might wish that the Green Bay Packers had the schedule of the Denver Broncos – they don’t.
The Broncos? The same powerhouse team that was one Joe Flacco bomb away from advancing to the AFC Championship game has the easiest schedule in the entire NFL? Say what?
The Broncos play teams next year with a combined win percentage of .430.
The team with the toughest schedule?
The Carolina Panthers.
And right behind them?
The Detroit Lions.
That’s right the 4-12 Detroit Lions play teams with a win percentage of .539.
As for the Packers, they’re not quite as bad, but they’re right up there. Green Bay has the sixth toughest schedule in 2013 facing teams with a win percentage of .533. In addition to playing the Lions, Minnesota Vikings and Chicago Bears twice as division rivals, the Packers will also play teams from the NFC East (as will the other division teams) – Washington Redskins, Philadelphia Eagles, New York Giants, and Dallas Cowboys.
The NFL schedule is set to be released April 16. Stay tuned.