Aaron Rodgers: A lot of the opt-out reports are 'conjecture'

-- While the Green Bay Packers put a cap on their final public OTA practice this year, Aaron Rodgers was back at work off the field as well.

The Packers' starting quarterback openly shot down -- mostly -- reports of his desire for an opt-out clause in his new contract on Monday, which is expected to be down sometime either before training camp or the regular season.

Rodgers, 34, still has two years remaining on his current deal but is the 10th-highest paid quarterback in the league on an annual salary basis.

That's behind the Atlanta Falcons' Matt Ryan, the Minnesota Vikings' Kirk Cousins, the San Francisco 49ers' Jimmy Garoppolo, the Detroit Lions' Matthew Stafford, the Oakland Raiders' Derek Carr and the Washington Redskins' Alex Smith. All of which received new contracts within the past year.

Presumably false reports circulated last week of Rodgers seeking a player opt-out portion of his deal, as opposed to the team having the right to opt-out of his contract, which is a standard function of NFL contracts.

That opt-out would provide Rodgers a chance to ditch his deal at the time and negotiate a new one. It's a way for him to keep up with the rapidly-growing pay scale for quarterbacks and ensure that he remains at -- or near -- the top of the list.

"I don't talk about it to the media," Rodgers said on Monday. "I don't think my agent [David Dunn] is either. A lot of it is just conjecture or stories that aren't really based in factual interactions or misrepresented actions. I think that's just part of it."

Such a clause in Rodgers' contract would make his deal unlike one we've ever seen before and give Rodgers more maneuverability and control.

"It's kind of a slow period for football right now. We're headed into the summer, there's not much to talk about unless somebody gets arrested or injured in the offseason or something happens on Fourth of July. That's usually the stories you get from now until training camp."

Rodgers suffered a broken collarbone last season, was placed on injured reserve for nearly two months before returning for a week 15 meeting with the Carolina Panthers: a 31-24 loss that sent Rodgers packing back to the injured reserve list where he'd finish the season.

Prior to his injury, he had consistently played his position at an elite level through the first five weeks of the season, almost ensuring he'd be in the MVP conversation by season's end, as he is on a yearly basis.

Rodgers said he didn't have anything to report at this point in his negotiations on a new deal, but was sure "some unnamed sources" close to him would have some sort of scoop along the way.

He was likely referencing reports earlier this offseason that suggested Rodgers was growing frustrated with the Packers keeping him out of personnel decisions. Reports that he shot down, encouraging to "trust the process" and that said process works.

"That's why I got my agent. He's handling the conversations. I got two years left on my deal; I don't have a drop-dead date. I expect to play at an MVP caliber level this year like I do every year, so I'm not worried about it."

Rodgers has expressed his desire to finish his career in Green Bay and how much ties to the state of Wisconsin mean to him. To culminate an illustrious career with the team who drafted him with the 24th overall selection in 2005, much like Tim Duncan and Kobe Bryant, who Rodgers has referenced in the past, is at the top of his list.

"Mark Murphy and I have talked over the years about what it means to be a Packer for life," Rodgers said. "When I first got to Green Bay, one of the fun things was to see—at the first Fan Fest I was at—to see Max McGee, Bart Starr, Jerry Kramer, Fuzzy Thurston and some of the old greats, and it would be fun to have that connection still to the state and the team and the region.

"I’ve said it before, every player would love to be able to pick when and how they finish up. That usually doesn’t happen, though. So I’m trying to play as well as I can for a number of years and hopefully, it’s here the entire time.”

__________________________

Zachary Jacobson is a staff writer/reporter for Cheesehead TV. He's the voice of The Leap on iTunes and can be heard on The Scoop KLGR 1490 AM every Saturday morning. He's also a contributor on the Pack-A-Day Podcast. He can be found on Twitter via @ZachAJacobson or contacted through email at [email protected].

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Comments (16)

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TKWorldWide's picture

June 04, 2018 at 11:05 pm

OK.

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croatpackfan's picture

June 05, 2018 at 04:05 am

OK this is outrageous!

Stop the negotiations immediately! Aaron Rodgers is lying to us! We should keep him till the end of his contract, franchise him twice and find the replacement in the mean time. We know for certain that the reports of highly trustful NFL reporters would not say something what is not 100% truth!

What a disappointment!

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

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hodge555's picture

June 05, 2018 at 06:12 am

You're a funny guy Croat.
This is the silly season for sure.

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Ryan Graham's picture

June 05, 2018 at 06:57 am

Croat with all due respect I disagree entirely. Hypothetically, let's say that's the decision Gute and Ball decide to go with. The entire football community, including high school players who will eventually be in the league will see this. Coaches, scouts, everyone in the community. I dont think franchising arguably the most valuable player in the league sends a great message to other players who have the opportunity to play in Green Bay, future free agents, or for that matter any future employees who would have to negotiate with these two.

A deal will get done, but it's not going to happen tomorrow. Rodgers is 100% correct in this period being slow for football news. I am glad no one is rushing into a contract after his second collarbone injury, anyway. I truthfully dont think a deal will get done until the August - September time frame.

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Spock's picture

June 05, 2018 at 08:56 am

Ryan Graham, Croat used the tilde symbols "~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~" at the bottom of his comment. Obviously you aren't aware that this is a device (started by commenters on the Packers official site years ago) to indicate SARCASM. Whenever you see one or more tilde symbols at the end of a comment it indicates the commenter is being sarcastic, so Croat is joking here! Just a FYI for you. :)

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The Shield's picture

June 05, 2018 at 07:49 am

Brett Hundley wouldn't lie to us like that. Brett Favre wouldn't..uh...nevermind. Favre invented the opt-out clause. AR has always said he wants to be a Packer for life. Said it again yesterday. Croat has his finger on the pulse of excellent, sourced reporting.

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Since'61's picture

June 05, 2018 at 06:44 am

Off-season speculation, just as I had speculated. Thanks, Since '61

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Spock's picture

June 05, 2018 at 08:59 am

'61, Captain Kirk often asked Mr. Spock to speculate. I speculated that your speculation about the speculations were accurate. :)

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Since'61's picture

June 05, 2018 at 09:22 am

Based on the available data my speculations are
99. 974326789% accurate.
Thanks, Since ‘61

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Thegreatreynoldo's picture

June 05, 2018 at 06:36 pm

Your guesses are better than most people's facts.

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4thand1's picture

June 05, 2018 at 10:11 am

I'm opting out of this conversation.

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Thegreatreynoldo's picture

June 06, 2018 at 03:03 am

Joel Corry has written a nice article on AR and the opt out clause (link below). The long and short of it is that Corry doesn't believe that AR has the leverage to get such a clause even if AR wants it.

Another interesting is that Corry projects the exclusive franchise tag at $29.5M in 2020 and at $35.5M (120%) for 2021. With the $42M AR would earn in 2018 and 2019, that would be equal to a 4 yr, $107M deal with no dead money ($26.75M AAV). That looks a lot better than $30M to $32M AAV.

Corry projects a third exclusive franchise tag for 2022 would be $51M. That's a huge number. While it would be 5 yrs, $158M, or just less than the $32M AAV number I've been using, it would also be $38.67M AAV in new money per year. Corry doesn't explain how he calculated these projected franchise tag numbers, and the last two would be under a new CBA, so the rules might change.

Anyone that has had an ARM mortgage or other loan with a balloon payment knows that either you save up during the lower payment years or you obtain a new loan when the balloon payment becomes due. If GB were willing to pay 15% of the cap to AR and figured the cap will be $250M in 2022, that would be $37.5M. GB would have had to save up in a mentally dedicated to AR rollover fund about $14M over '18, '19', '20 and '21. Sort of doable. I suspect if we made AR play out his current contract and franchised him twice, we wouldn't be able to persuade him to renegotiate his salary downwards for 2022 (the take a new loan out in the balloon payment year option above): GB would have to apply the 3rd franchise or lose him. It would if I were AR since I'd be mad at GB.

https://www.cbssports.com/nfl/news/agents-take-why-still-no-aaron-rodger...

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croatpackfan's picture

June 06, 2018 at 12:32 pm

TGR thank you for this additional information...

Still - this is speculation. Aaron said several times he want to finish as Packers. Insisting on opt out is something that can be just mention as leverage in the negotiations, not as reality. Would you invest huge money in person who can tell you that he will not finish his contract and he have the right to do so. That is not the way how careful boss make his plans for the company future...

I believe Aaron knows that very well.

EDIT: For any other position in todays game I can say - give the man opt out, not for the face of the franchise. QB position earns huge money for a reson. With huge money comes restrictions, as well...

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Thegreatreynoldo's picture

June 08, 2018 at 10:36 am

I agree, Croat. I can't conceive of GB agreeing to an opt out. I doubt AR is asking for one, much less insisting on it. It is probably a non-issue. For GB to consider an opt-out, the team would have to be more worried about his health than we know about, or have discerned some decline in his physical abilities, or have some off the field concerns. I see little to no evidence for any of those possibilities.

I also take leave to doubt that it is a bargaining chip. I've negotiated thousands of deals. If the opposite side asks for something that they know I won't do and that we both know they can't get from any other source and no matter what other concessions they make, it isn't worth anything as a bargaining chip.

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Lare's picture

June 07, 2018 at 05:42 pm

For me, it's not as much an issue of how much Rodgers is worth going forward, it's more the concern of if he gets injured and the Packers are tying up tens of millions of guaranteed dollars each year to someone that's not playing.

Hopefully Rodgers stays healthy throughout the rest of his career, but he has been injured and missed significant time twice in the last five years.

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Karuzzo's picture

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