Will his burgeoning bank account go to Aaron Rodgers' head and affect his future production on the field? Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports

Rodgers near the top of the NFL money tree

Aaron Rodgers and New Orleans Saints quarterback Drew Brees earned the most among all NFL players this past 12 months – based solely on their earned salaries, bonuses, prize money, appearance fees and licensing and endorsement incomes.

Brees earned $51 million, while Rodgers was right behind him at $49 million – Rodgers’ recent contract extension that included his $35 million signing bonus, pushed him into the upper echelon of the NFL money tree, according to the list recently released by Forbes.

That’s just great, but does the big money equal success? As Packers fans we can only hope that Rodgers’ burgeoning bank account won’t make him complacent; that his hunger for a championship won’t be curtailed. But how many times have we seen it before – big name stars who have gotten their huge payoffs only to disappoint in subsequent seasons?

Will Rodgers be one of them?

Probably not for a couple of reasons: Rodgers is too solidly based to let the money get to his head; and secondly, Rodgers is surrounded by too much talent (both in the player and management ranks) for him to sink.

I just can’t see Rodgers’ production dropping in the near future. But there are some players who have climbed into the top ranks of the money tree who might be in danger … consider Tony Romo, who is now making $28.8 million; and what about Calvin Johnson ($26.3 million) whose Lions are annual disappointments; and Ray Rice (25.8 million) whose Ravens probably won’t play to the level they did last season.

We all know that money doesn’t buy success or happiness, but when it comes to Rodgers, if there’s one player who might overcome the pitfalls of the money trap, it’s him. At least that’s my hope.

What do you think, Packers fans? Will Rodgers continue to show the same kind of production in the years to come?

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