What’s next for Aaron Rodgers and the Green Bay Packers?
At this stage, three different scenarios remain in play.
First, Rodgers must decide whether he wants to keep playing football. If so, does he want to return to Green Bay? And do the Packers want Rodgers back or make Jordan Love their new QB1?
These are the questions that will be answered in the coming weeks and months. One of three scenarios will come true.
1. Aaron Rodgers returns to Packers
One option is for things to remain the same.
If Rodgers decides to keep playing and is happy to stay in Green Bay, this move could happen. The Packers would also need to commit to Rodgers in 2023, but assuming both sides agree, a return to Green Bay is possible.
The Packers would almost certainly do everything they can to “run it back” and keep the Super Bowl window open. That could mean giving new contracts to free agents like Marcedes Lewis, Allen Lazard, and Randall Cobb.
We could see plenty of contract restructures to help create cap space.
Barring a restructure, Green Bay would take on a cap hit of $31.62 million for Rodgers, according to Over The Cap.
What would it mean for Jordan Love’s future? Good question.
2. Aaron Rodgers is traded
So, what if Aaron Rodgers wants to keep playing but either he doesn’t want to play in Green Bay, or the Packers want to move on? Rodgers spoke about this last week on the ‘The Pat McAfee Show’.
“I think I can win MVP again in the right situation,” Rodgers said. “Right situation, is that Green Bay or is that somewhere else? I’m not sure.”
ESPN’s Adam Schefter reported that a trade was a “real possibility” this offseason.
According to Over The Cap, the Packers would have to pay $40.31 million in dead cap if they trade Rodgers before June 1. If they made the move after that date, the cap hit would be spread over two seasons.
3. Aaron Rodgers retires
Of course, one possibility is that Aaron Rodgers decides to walk away and retire. The Packers would then move forward with Jordan Love.
According to the Over The Cap article mentioned above, Rodgers would forfeit $59.47 million in that scenario.
How much would the Packers pay on the salary cap? Here’s how it could look, according to the article:
"“In order to best accommodate the hit on the salary cap my assumption would be that the Packers and Rodgers would sign a new contract where the option bonus was eliminated and just a $1.165 salary remained. That would reduce Rodgers salary cap charge to $16,998,750 and they would carry him on the roster as a procedural move until June 2nd. At that point they would put him on the retired list. The salary cap charge in that case would be $15,833,570 in 2023 and $24,480,000 in 2024.”"
That seems manageable. But also not ideal.
If Rodgers’ future is away from Green Bay, the best-case scenario would be a trade. The Packers would take on a significant cap hit in 2023, but that would be it.
They would also get draft picks back in return to help build the roster.