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Aaron Rodgers' focus away from contract talks and on teammates, leadership

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Aaron Rodgers' focus away from contract talks and on teammates, leadership

-- Meeting the Dalai Lama, traveling to Hawaii, swimming with sharks. Aaron Rodgers' offseason hasn't been anything short of glorious.

But for now and for the next several months, he's focused on being the starting quarterback of the Green Bay Packers.

That includes shrugging off any stalled -- or not stalled for all anyone knows -- contract talks with the team's brass.

"I don’t have a timetable," Rodgers told Packers.com after the first training camp practice of the summer. "The feelings haven’t changed, I’d obviously love to be here and they’ve spoken at length about wanting to extend my deal.

"Now that I’m here, my focus I definitely in other places. It’s on my teammates, my leadership role and my performance on the field. That’s why I’ve got Dave Dunn to take care of all that stuff."

While Rodgers' focus shifts towards the 2018 season, his agent -- the aforementioned David Dunn -- will still negotiate ongoing talks with team President and CEO Mark Murphy, general manager Brian Gutekunst and Executive Vice President Russ Ball.

Rodgers' deal was actually slated to be completed sometime before training camp, however, the barometers of his new deal create fairly difficult obstacles to hurdle en route to putting pen to paper.

"I talk with my agent daily, so I’m aware of the conversations," Rodgers said. "I’m not too worried about it. … There’s more than mutual interest on both sides."

As the 10th-highest paid quarterback in the league at a $22 million per year base salary, Rodgers has seen several -- inferior -- quarterbacks leapfrog him in terms of annual earnings.

While he still has two years left on his deal which expires after the 2019 season, Rodgers and the team are evidently in no rush trying to carefully map out a contract that benefits both sides, while at the same time keeps Rodgers atop the salary totem pole for the next several years.

Unlike Oakland Raiders linebacker Khalil Mack, Atlanta Falcons receiver Julio Jones and Seattle Seahawks safety Earl Thomas, Rodgers' "team-first" approach and avoidance of holding out from training camp makes for somewhat of an easier negotiation process.

"I don’t really operate like that," Rodgers said. "I have two years left on my deal. They’re obviously more than willing to talk about an extension, so there wasn’t any animosity on either side."

__________________________

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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Fan friendly comments only: off Comments (13) This filter will hide comments which have ratio of 5 to 1 down-vote to up-vote.

Chuck Farley's picture

I read he is crying that he didnt get that huge contract to go with his ego. He will be have the biggest salary or anyone on the bench injured for the season.

Since '61's picture

Rodgers realizes that if he has a big 2018 more leverage will shift to him. As usual he is saying all the right things. The Packers should try to get this done with a generous deal ASAP. There will be plenty of cap casualties after this season to balance out ARs deal. Thanks, Since ‘61

zerotolerance's picture

The man has his priorities right.

Lare's picture

So what's the hurry to get a deal done ASAP?

White _tornado's picture

Give him the same type contract that GB gave Sterling Sharpe when he threatened to sit out the season. Sharpe's new deal guaranteed him he would be paid exactly 1$ more than the nighest paid receiver.

Thegreatreynoldo's picture

I'd forgotten Sharpe's half-day holdout the day before the start of the 1994 regular season, even though he had six years to go on his contract. Makes me remember him less fondly, BTW.

Sharpe, in fact, didn't end up being the highest paid WR in 1994. Wolf carefully said that with the new deal, Sharpe "will remain one of the highest paid WRs in the NFL." Wolf specifically said that Sharpe's cap number for 1994 didn't budge one iota. For 1994, Sharpe did get a $1.8M salary advance, and an increase in his escalator (which would affect 1995) along with the removal of a performance contingency to trigger the escalator. Sharpe also got a signing bonus scheduled for 1995, amount undisclosed. I suspect GB assured Sharpe that starting 1995 GB would make sure he was the highest paid. Of course, he had the neck injury and GB terminated his contract, so he didn't get the signing bonus and we didn't find out if that language was actually written in the contract or if it was just a verbal statement of intent/promise.

It looks ambiguous to me whether a team can contractually bind itself to make a player have the highest salary in the NFL. Article 14, Section 1 of the CBA seems to be relevant.

The TKstinator's picture

AFOREMENTIONED !!
I understand that after GB backs the bank truck up to 12’s house, they’ll only have enough money left over for an “athreementioned”, or maybe only an “atwomentioned”.....we’ll have to see what develops.

Haha! Back on my game, dob!

dobber's picture

Rounding into early season form!

Oppy's picture

Once it happens, you'll have to report back ans tell us which it was.. That'd be anaftmentioned.

Oppy's picture

..And any side stories that develop will be classified as either aportmentioned or astarboardmentioned developments, determined by if the story leans left or right, respectively

The TKstinator's picture

We are all on point.
If GB is as sharp as we are, it’ll be SB, no doubt.

hodge555's picture

I think they may wait to announce until after the aftermath of the 53 man roster cuts are settled. That way they will know if they need cap space this year for any late FA grabs or spend what they have on Rodgers contract early to free future cap space.

DD's picture

10th highest paid QB is ridiculous. Would any of you so called fickle doubters take any of the nine QB's ahead of Rodgers? Please, give me a break!!

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