1. Aaron Rodgers
2023 cap hit: $31.62 million
2024 cap hit: $40.7 million
Surprise! It's Aaron Rodgers at No. 1.
Those numbers above will change when Rodgers gets traded to the New York Jets. The downside? His 2023 cap hit will actually increase. If Rodgers is traded before June 1, the Packers will have to pay $40.31 million in dead cap.
That's an incredibly high cap number to pay for a player who won't even be on the team.
One benefit of a pre-June 1 trade is the Packers get the dead cap out of the way this year. After the 2023 season, Rodgers' contract would be off the books, freeing up cap space for Jordan Love if they either pick up his fifth-year option or offer him a long-term extension.
Giving Rodgers a new deal last offseason was, without a doubt, Brian Gutekunst's biggest mistake to date as general manager. Green Bay could've traded him for a boatload of picks, saved a ton of cap space, and saved plenty of headaches this offseason.
Instead, they made it effectively impossible to release him, difficult to trade him, and left themselves with an enormous dead cap hit.
All for an 8-9 playoff-less season. It's fair to say the Packers got that one wrong.