1. Aaron Rodgers
How the end of Aaron Rodgers’ career plays out will be fascinating.
The back-to-back MVP winner signed a new deal this offseason but hasn’t publicly committed to playing beyond this year. Anywhere from one to three more years seems the most likely scenario, although Rodgers is under contract through the 2026 season.
Looking at the cap numbers as they currently are, it would be just about impossible for the Packers to move on from Rodgers before 2024.
This year, it would cost them a dead cap hit of over $150 million. Next spring, it would cost them $99.78 million.
If Rodgers retires next year, the Packers would need to find a way of restructuring his contract in order to bring down the 2023 dead cap hit.
In 2024, Rodgers’ cap hit will be $40.7 million if he is still playing, but $24.48 million in dead cap if he isn’t. In 2025, his cap hit is $59.3 million with a dead cap hit of $16.3 million.
The first question is how long Rodgers decides to keep playing. From there, the Packers will need to figure out the best way to maintain a healthy salary cap.
Either way, whenever the Rodgers era comes to an end, the Packers will likely continue to pay for it on the salary cap for years to come.