Green Bay Packers quarterback Aaron Rodgers is arguably the NFL's most underpaid player, but he's not prepared to stage a public hold out to get a new deal in place this summer, according to Mike Freeman of CBS Sports.
"Sources close to Rodgers describe the quarterback as concerned about his contract situation with the Packers, but they say he isn't yet prepared to hold out this offseason or this summer, if a new deal isn't reached."
Few players can claim the merits of a pay raise quite like Rodgers.
In terms of average salary, Rodgers will enter next season as the NFL's 15th highest paid quarterback and the 36th highest player overall. His salary of $9.75 million represents the wealthiest on the Packers' payroll for 2013, but Rodgers is still underpaid by $10 million or more a season.
To his credit, Rodgers has never made his current contract into a public dispute, instead using every opportunity to defuse any alarmist thinking about the eventual (or on-going) negotiations.
"Obviously you’ve got to be able to have guys around you to compete and win every year, and we’ll see what happens with some of the free agents that we have," Rodgers told Jason Wilde of ESPN Milwaukee in February. "When that time comes, we’ll get a deal done. I’m not worried about that. I think the Packers want to keep me around for a little while longer, and I’d love to be a Packer for life.”
Freeman added that "there's no anger" between Rodgers and the Packers, despite last week's announcement that the Baltimore Ravens and Joe Flacco agreed on a six-year, $120.6 million deal that included $52 million in guarantees and made the reigning Super Bowl MVP the NFL's highest-paid player.
Rodgers, with 85 passing touchdowns and a regular season MVP over the last two seasons, certainly has the leverage to eclipse Flacco's deal.
At least for now, Rodgers isn't planning on using a public hold out to get such a deal done.
Zach Kruse is a 24-year-old sports writer who contributes to Cheesehead TV, Bleacher Report and the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel. He also covers prep sports for the Dunn Co. News. You can reach him on Twitter @zachkruse2 or by email at email@example.com.