NFL Agent Hints That Aaron Rodgers’ Contract Is Delaying Packers Signing Free Agents

Rob Goldberg@@TheRobGoldbergFeatured Columnist IVApril 12, 2021

Green Bay Packers quarterback Aaron Rodgers warms up before the NFC championship NFL football game against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers in Green Bay, Wis., Sunday, Jan. 24, 2021. (AP Photo/Mike Roemer)
AP Photo/Mike Roemer

The Green Bay Packers have reportedly been unable to add free agents until they restructure Aaron Rodgers' contract.

An NFL agent told Rob Demovsky of ESPN that a stalemate in this situation has held up the rest of the offseason plans:

"It's screwing the Packers in a lot of ways right now because there's just no cap space. They've called me about one of my players and said 'Hey, this is where we are now, and until we get something big done—hint, hint—we don’t have any space.' It's kind of like a lose-lose situation right now."

Rodgers has three years remaining on his contract with a $37.2 million cap hit in 2021, per Spotrac.

According to Mike Florio of Pro Football Talk, the Packers could create cap space by converting part of the $14.7 million base salary into a signing bonus. The team also doesn't need Rodgers to sign off on such changes.

Contract restructures have become a way for teams to get creative with the salary cap, which the Tampa Bay Buccaneers showed this offseason. Tom Brady altered his deal with an extension, providing space to keep key players like Shaquil Barrett, Lavonte David, Chris Godwin and Ndamukong Suh.

Brady dropped his base salary but will still reportedly make $41.1 million in 2021.

The Packers could make a similar move, although a restructure would make it tougher for the team to move Rodgers in the future. Even after an MVP year, this is a concern after Green Bay taking Jordan Love in the first round in the 2020 NFL draft.

As of now, the team can trade Rodgers next offseason and save $22.6 million against the cap, leaving $17.2 million in dead cap, per Spotrac. A trade before the 2023 campaign would leave only $2.9 million in dead cap.

Any restructure would likely add more guaranteed money and/or years to his current deal.

The agent said they "heard is Aaron is stubborn" regarding a contract restructure, but the Packers could also be hesitant to make a deal that limits flexibility going forward.