Packers Frugal Free Agency Ways Have Set Up Rodgers' Imminent Extension

Andrew GardaFeatured ColumnistMarch 29, 2013

Soon he will be able to afford even nicer suits.
Soon he will be able to afford even nicer suits.Jamie McCarthy/Getty Images

Adam Schefter of ESPN is reporting that the Green Bay Packers and quarterback Aaron Rodgers are closing in on an extension.

According to Schefter, the deal should net Rodgers a per year average in the neighborhood of $25 million a year.

We all knew this was going to happen and when you look at it, this is the right move.

Even though we could be looking at a contract in the neighborhood of $100 to $125 million total, this also shouldn't murder the Packers' cap space.

While not dipping into the free agency pool drove many fans nuts, GM Ted Thompson has always been one to keep homegrown talent. That's how you can keep a player like Rodgers—one of a handful of franchise cornerstone quarterbacks who are hard to come by in today's NFL.

The Packers don't throw money at free agents because they prefer to pay their proven veterans.

Sure, they'll cut an aging player loose—thanks for everything Charles Woodson and Donald Driver—but they'll also pay a guy in his prime or one they believe has potential.

This was the case with Rodgers the first time around, as well as James Jones and Jordy Nelson.

Does it always work out? No—for example, please see A.J. Hawk.

But the ability to pay their best players and keep them in Green Bay is one of the reasons (maybe the biggest) why we never see much in the way of big name free agent signings.

Thompson (and by virtue of him, the whole team) builds through the draft, not through free agent signings. They develop players and the ones they feel work out, they pay.

I will bet that the cap room they save this year will go to wiping out a lot of Rodgers' overall cap hit, freeing up more cap space for other contracts, such as Clay Matthews and B.J.Raji if the Packers decide to have them back (hint: they probably will).

While other teams throw money around in free agency to mixed results year after year, the Packers build from within. The process can be slower, but so far the results—a Super Bowl and consistent playoff appearances— have proven the process to be a wise one.

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