As part of the contract, the final year on Rodgers’ deal, which was set to be 2023, will now be voided. This means he’ll become a free agent a year earlier than previously scheduled, although the Packers could trade him next offseason.
But how does the reworked contract impact the Packers’ salary cap?
In the short term, it helps the Packers. Rodgers’ cap number has dropped significantly. According to Over The Cap, his cap hit for 2021 is now $27.07 million. It’s still easily the highest on the roster but drops from where it was prior to the reworked deal.
However, if Rodgers does stay in Green Bay beyond this season, the team will almost certainly need to either work on an extension or rework his deal again. That’s because his 2022 cap hit is currently set to be a huge $46.14 million.
It will force the Packers and Rodgers into a decision next offseason. On that cap number, it would leave the team with all sorts of problems. Over The Cap estimates that Green Bay will be roughly $50 million over the cap for 2022 as things stand. That would leave the team in a tough position with the worst salary-cap situation in the league by far.
The Packers would be left with two realistic options.
One would require Rodgers to agree, and that would be a long-term extension, allowing him to finish his career in Green Bay and spread that cap hit out over multiple years. The other, and perhaps the most likely, would see the team trade Rodgers away in 2022 with one year remaining on his contract. His future team could then work out a long-term extension with him.
If Green Bay trades Rodgers next offseason, it will save over $19 million in cap room, significantly lowering the huge cap hit he’s scheduled for.
The team could then move forward with Jordan Love as the QB1. He’d be on the third year of his rookie contract.
Whether an extension or trade awaits for Rodgers in 2022, the Packers will have to make a decision. Rodgers’ cap number for next year can’t stay as it is.