The Packers are doing everything they can to clear cap space, and Aaron Rodgers remains an option.
In fact, Rodgers would actually have something to gain from a contract restructure, so the Packers shouldn’t think of it as a favor. By going to their leader for more cap room, the Packers would prove they’re committed to adding talent around Rodgers — including potentially J.J. Watt or another wide receiver. Both of those rumored moves would benefit Rodgers immensely.
So, how could the Packers rework Rodgers contract? Per ESPN’s Rob Demovsky, it’s fairly simple: “They almost certainly will do the same (restructure the contract) with quarterback Aaron Rodgers and his $21.5 million in base salary ($14.7 million) and roster bonus ($6.8 million due in March). A more comprehensive restructuring of Rodgers’ deal — which could satisfy his desire to have more than just year-to-year security — could also be in play.”
What could Aaron Rodgers’ restructured contract look like?
The Packers could theoretically add another year to Rodgers’ contract, pushing back the salary hit while converting his salary this year to what amounts to a large roster bonus. That wouldn’t count as heavily against the cap, and would allow the Packers to shrink what’s become a rather intimidating figure at this juncture.
Rodgers stated after the NFC Championship loss that he didn’t know if he’d be with Green Bay next season. That was an alarming comment, but one he admitted he didn’t necessarily mean the way most fans and pundits took it. Rodgers wants to be a Packer, and he wants further commitment from the only franchise he’s ever known. This would be a win-win.
The Packers already secured a contract restructuring commitment from David Bakhtiari, and released Rick Wagner and Christian Kirksey in their salary cap gymnastics. Going to Rodgers with a proposal could allow them to make a bigger impact, and appease their quarterback at the same time.