It’s best to move on a year too early than a year too late. The Green Bay Packers‘ decision to extend Aaron Rodgers’ contract this offseason has backfired massively.
Rodgers has taken a significant step back from his back-to-back MVP seasons.
It’s not all his fault, of course. The Packers haven’t surrounded him with enough talent after losing key players in the offseason.
But they knew that would be likely back in March.
Instead, they gave Rodgers a new deal that significantly impacts the Packers’ salary cap in upcoming years, making it difficult to move on.
Trading Rodgers in 2023 is close to impossible, and the Packers will have to take on huge dead cap hits if the four-time MVP retires.
In March, the Denver Broncos traded for Russell Wilson, sending two first-round picks, two second-round picks, a fifth-round pick, tight end Noah Fant, defensive lineman Shelby Harris, and quarterback Drew Lock to the Seattle Seahawks.
The Packers likely could’ve struck a similar deal with the Broncos.
Yes, it would’ve meant effectively giving up on 2022 and entering a rebuild.
But had the Packers still made the Davante Adams-to-Las Vegas Raiders trade, they would’ve entered the 2022 NFL Draft with three first-round picks and had another two in 2023. They would’ve also had three second-rounders in ’22 and two in ’23.
Instead, they missed an opportunity to add a boatload of draft picks. To make it even worse, they also sacrificed the future by paying Rodgers.
And while Rodgers doesn’t have a great supporting cast, he was given a huge deal to put in an MVP-level season for the Packers.
Instead, he has thrown for 2,091 yards, 14 touchdowns, and seven interceptions in Green Bay’s opening nine games. His 89.0 passer rating is currently the worst of his career as a starter.
The Packers made the surprising decision to keep Rodgers but trade Davante Adams.
Not only did they wait a year too long, but they doubled down by paying Rodgers on a cap-altering deal.
And they are now paying the price.