The Green Bay Packers did little to upgrade the roster this offseason with limited cap space thanks in part to Aaron Rodgers' large salary.
Tyler Dunne of Go Long reported Thursday the quarterback wasn't open to reworking his contract to facilitate free-agency moves:
Peter Bukowski @Peter_Bukowski
“One other thing I heard: The Packers would've been able/open to pursuing a big name this offseason to win a title if Rodgers would've been open to reworking his contract in that manner. Instead, the dominant narrative is that they aren't doing enough for him.”<br><br>— @TyDunne
Rodgers has a $37.2 million cap hit in 2021, per Spotrac, the largest number in the NFL. Green Bay re-signed star running back Aaron Jones but didn't add any notable external free agents after losing in the NFC Championship Game.
An NFL agent told Rob Demovsky of ESPN last week that Green Bay needed to restructure Rodgers' deal before making any moves:
"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."
The Packers could restructure Rodgers' deal without his permission if they wanted, per Mike Florio of ProFootballTalk.
The challenge is that any new deal would likely limit cap flexibility in future seasons. The team could either add more years to his contract, like Tom Brady's extension last month, or add more guaranteed money going forward.
Even with Rodgers' high salary this season, the squad could trade him in 2022 and save $22.7 million against the cap, per Spotrac. A trade before the 2023 campaign would leave just $2.9 million in dead cap.
While getting rid of the reigning NFL MVP would be shocking, the Packers drafted quarterback Jordan Love in the first round last season.
A restructured deal for Rodgers could block Love's path to the starting lineup throughout his rookie contract.