Following another frustrating playoff failure, Green Bay Packers fans seem to be split on the direction they think the team should go this offseason, mostly in regards to the future of Aaron Rodgers.
Should they go all in and reload around Rodgers, or decide enough is enough, trade him for picks, and move on?
No matter where you fall in this debate, it seems as if, for now at least, the Packers want to run it back and make another Super Bowl push with Rodgers in 2022.
According to NFL Network’s Ian Rapoport, Rodgers remained in Green Bay following the playoff loss to San Francisco to “plot out the team’s future”, adding that the discussions left the Packers with “confidence moving forward that Rodgers will return for the 2022 season”.
Based on that, it would seem the Packers want to move forward with Rodgers if he’s willing to return. But maintaining a competitive roster in 2022, with or without Rodgers, will be no easy task for general manager Brian Gutekunst.
So, let’s assume Rodgers does indeed commit to staying in Green Bay. What would it take for the Packers to push all their chips into next season and go all in for a Super Bowl challenge?
Note: Packers salary cap numbers in this article are according to Over The Cap, unless stated otherwise.
1. Extend Aaron Rodgers’ contract
If Rodgers is to stay and this team is to avoid anything even resembling a rebuild, it starts with the MVP’s contract.
The Packers’ salary cap mess is no secret, and a big part of that is Rodgers’ huge $46.64 million cap hit. If Rodgers remains in Green Bay, a way to do this would be to extend his contract.
Doing so achieves a couple of things: Rodgers gets the long-term commitment he wants, effectively meaning he gets to finish his career in Green Bay. The other is the Packers would be able to lower his 2022 cap hit.
Joel Corry of CBS Sports gave some great insight into how the Packers could create cap space by extending Rodgers’ deal. With a “market value Rodgers extension”, the team could save $10 million. If Rodgers chose to make a similar move to Drew Brees and take a more team-friendly deal to help push for a Super Bowl, the Packers’ “cap relief should be much greater,” writes Corry.
Any return to Green Bay for Rodgers has to start with a new deal that helps reduce his 2022 cap hit.