Report: Aaron Rodgers Wants Assurances from Packers He's Not 'Lame-Duck' QB

Joseph Zucker@@JosephZuckerFeatured ColumnistMarch 23, 2021

Green Bay Packers quarterback Aaron Rodgers runs off the field follow an NFL football game against the Indianapolis Colts, Sunday, Nov. 22, 2020, in Indianapolis. Indianapolis won in overtime. (AP Photo/Michael Conroy)
Michael Conroy/Associated Press

Green Bay Packers star Aaron Rodgers wants a commitment from the team that he isn't a "lame-duck" quarterback amid questions over whether he'll restructure his contract ahead of the 2021 season, according to ESPN's Rob Demovsky.

Demovsky reported the Packers didn't amend his deal before his $6.8 million roster bonus went into effect. However, that doesn't preclude the team from reworking the contract in a different way, according to Demovsky:

"The team could do that by adjusting his contract without adding any money to it. The Packers could convert a large portion of his $14.7 million base salary into a signing bonus. That would give them additional cap space this season but also would increase the amount of dead money he would count on next year's cap if they moved on."

Rodgers is signed through 2023, but the Packers could save $25.5 million in 2022 while carrying $14.4 million and $2.9 million in dead money across 2022 and 2023, respectively, if they designated him as a post-June 1 cut next offseason, per Spotrac.

Rodgers' performance last season put doubts about his future in Green Bay on the back burner.

But sooner or later, the team may want to see what it has in 2020 first-round pick Jordan Love.

The Arizona Cardinals traded Josh Rosen one year after taking him in the first round of the 2018 draft. Similarly, 2020 fifth overall pick Tua Tagovailoa acknowledged his future with the Miami Dolphins is somewhat in flux.

In the case of Rosen, Arizona had lined up his replacement with Kyler Murray, and the Dolphins would likely only offload Tagovailoa to land Houston Texans star Deshaun Watson.

Chris Mortensen @mortreport

Sources say Watson could play hardball with Texans about a trade. His new $156 million contract includes a no-trade clause but informed speculation from a source is that he would consider the @MiamiDolphins in which Tua Tagovailoa and additional compensation goes to Houston.

Until they prove otherwise, the Packers don't appear to have deviated from making Love the long-term successor to Rodgers. That puts the nine-time Pro Bowler in a tough position.

Green Bay has restructured the deals for multiple players on its books to get under the NFL's lower salary cap in 2021.

Since he's due to count for $37.2 million against the cap—the highest in the league—addressing Rodgers' salary is an obvious step. One could understand, though, if he isn't in a mood to do the franchise any favors if he believes it would expedite his exit.

From the Packers' side of things, the presence of Love makes it difficult to provide concrete commitments about the years ahead. Making promises they can't or don't plan to keep would be worse than not making any promises at all.