Packers: Pros and cons of restructuring Aaron Rodgers’ deal

Green Bay Packers, Aaron Rodgers (Photo by Dylan Buell/Getty Images)
Green Bay Packers, Aaron Rodgers (Photo by Dylan Buell/Getty Images) /

With the new league year now here, the Green Bay Packers are under the salary cap.

Exactly how they got there remains to be seen. In time, we’ll learn the full details of the restructures and new contracts they’ve handed out. But it seems they’ve achieved this without having to let key players go, a sign they’re trying to keep this group together for another Super Bowl run.

The Packers will likely need to create some more cap space in the near future, and one obvious option would be to restructure Aaron Rodgers‘ deal. According to Over The Cap, Green Bay could save as much as $15.2 million on this year’s cap by restructuring his deal.

But should they do it?

Why it would make sense for Packers

The most obvious reason is the immediate cap space the team would create. That could be used in a number of ways, most likely to strengthen the roster in free agency. Rodgers currently has the highest 2021 cap hit in the NFL.

If general manager Brian Gutekunst wants to go all-in and take a risk, this would be a no-brainer.

Perhaps restructuring Rodgers’ contract would help them land a top free agent at a position of need such as defensive tackle, offensive tackle, or cornerback.

While the salary cap is reduced this year, there’s a good chance it will rise again in the coming years. The Packers can reduce Rodgers’ salary cap hit in 2021 and it should become easier to take on a bigger hit in the coming years.

Why it wouldn’t make sense for Packers

Restructuring contracts helps in the short term, but not so much beyond that. Rodgers is currently scheduled for a cap hit of $39 million in 2022, according to Over The Cap, but restructuring his contract this offseason could push that up significantly.

And while the cap could rise next year, the Packers would have to find a way to manage an even bigger cap hit for Rodgers than in 2021.

If the long-term plan is to transition to first-round pick Jordan Love at QB, restructuring Rodgers’ deal makes it all the more challenging a year or two from now. It would give Green Bay far less flexibility if it decided to cut or trade Rodgers.

Yes, there are short-term benefits of restructuring Rodgers’ deal. If Brian Gutekunst wants to truly go all-in this year, it makes sense. If not, he has to consider next year and beyond.