Aaron Rodgers Restructures His Contract To Clear $9.3 Million

Here are the details for the restructuring of Aaron Rodgers' contract.  

 

YR Base SB W/O Roster Incent Cap Dead Save
'18           $20.90M    
'19           $29.35M    
'20           $21.64M    
'21 $1.1M $19.17M $500K $6.8M $850K $27.92M $52.82M  
'22 $26.47M $19.17M $500K - - - - -   $46.14M $26.85M $19.297M
'23 VOID $7.67M VOID VOID   $7.67M $7.67M N/A
                 
                 

The restructure generates $9.28 million in cap savings for 2021.  The base salary for 2021 was increased by $864,706 ($14.7M scheduled base salary divided by 17 games) to account for an eighteenth game, but that increase was added to the signing bonus.  His 2022 base was increased by $1.47 million ($25M/17) to account for an eighteenth game next season.  Rodgers did not earn his work out bonus for 2021.  He did earn an $850,000 escalator/incentive based on his play in 2020 so those incentives become likely-to-be-earned for 2021 and count $850,000 against this season's salary cap.  

Rodgers' actual cap numbers ($20.9M/11.3% of the cap, $29.35M/14.9%, $21.64M/10.6%) should not have been a significant factor in not winning more in the playoffs.  The average over the last three seasons is 12.27%.  He outplayed those numbers.  Rodgers' $27.92 million cap number (15.29% of the Covid Cap) also should not be considered a significant reason if the Packers do not win a super bowl in 2021.

Randall Cobb suited up and participated in practice yesterday.  He must have signed his contract and passed his physical.  Reports are that his cap number will be just under $3M.  However, while Dennis Kelly clowned around wearing Bakhtiari's jersey, as far as I can tell did not participate in yesterday's practice, which suggests several possibilities: 1) He had not yet signed his contract; 2) He had not yet passed his physical; 3) There was insufficient cap space to make his signing official.

I fthink option 3 was most likely to be the impediment.  The Packers had roughly $4.9 million in cap space before this flurry of activity.  If Cobb accounted for almost $3 million, then presumably Kelly's cap number is more than $1.9 million.  I have seen other sites suggesting that Kelly would sign a qualified contract or just for the veteran's minimum, but I think he is too good, too valuable, to play for peanuts.  We shall see as the numbers should come out very soon.

It has been reported that Cobb's cap number will be just under $3 million and that Houston will pay $3 million of his $8.25 million guaranteed base salary.  If true, a decent guess about how his contract will look can be made. 

YR. Base SB GA Cap Dead
'21 $1.4M $1.283M $.375M ($220,580) $2.904M  
'22 $7.875M $1.283M $.375M  $9.533M $2.567M
'23 VOID $1.283M VOID - - - - - - - -

Green Bay pays as base salary $1.4 million of the $5.25 million Cobb is due.  The Packers convert the difference ($3.85M) into a signing bonus prorated over three years, which means adding a void year after the already bogus 2022 season (the $9.533M cap hit is unlikely for the Packer or anyone else to allow).  Since Cobb played 10 games, 10/17ths is $220,580 of his $375,000 game active bonus.  

The Packers had about $4.8 million in space, so the re-working of Rodgers deal should push that to $14.08 million.  If Cobb's cap charge is really about $3 million, the team should have about $11 million.  The 52nd and 53rd contracts plus the practice squad will constitute a charge of at least $4.6 million and the Packers should keep a reserve of at least $3 million for churn, leaving $3.4 million minus Kelly's cap charge as available to spend.

The Packers could generate more space depending on which players they keep at cutdowns.  The Packers look 'all-in' this year so players who can help them win should be safe such as Davante Adams, Valdes-Scantling, Jenkins, Marcedes Lewis, and the like.  The players who seem to me to be at risk are as follows:

Player(s) Savings
Sullivan $2.133M
Patrick $1.975M
Jackson $1.333M
Funchess $1.217M
Lancaster $1.047
Burks $947K
Kaufusi, Redmond, Scott, Bradley $920K
Nauta, Nijman, D. Williams $850K

I think Sullivan, Patrick, Lancaster, Scott and Bradley are pretty safe, and arguably Redmond, but I included them to be complete.  I can at least see some way a young player might make them expendable, even if it is unlikely.  The cap savings for any of these players who gets released should be reduced by at least $660,000 since another player will take their place.

 

 

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11 points

Comments (29)

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Lphill's picture

July 30, 2021 at 01:31 pm

I get a knot in my stomach when I hear Sullivan.

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Thegreatreynoldo's picture

July 30, 2021 at 01:45 pm

Sorry to burst bubbles about how much cap space the Packers have now that AR re-structured. It ain't that much in reality.

I got a morbid chuckle out of the photo of AR I chose. I had a paragraph about how things could work out if AR and the Packers' FO kissed and made up such that he might be the QB in 2022 for the Packers. Not surprisingly, that paragraph got longer and longer - it's really another whole article - so I deleted it. Sadly, it looks to me like he is out of here in 2022. I suppose there is a way, but it looks like if he wanted to stay and GB still wanted to keep him (not necessarily the case no matter what Murphy intones) he'd have to agree to play for peanuts for at least one of the next two years. Or something weird, like a big roster bonus guaranteed in 2026 for a lot of money!

7 points
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Coldworld's picture

July 30, 2021 at 02:16 pm

Or play with a roster denuded of the likes of Adams, Turner and the Smiths, which seems unlikely.

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CheesyTex's picture

July 30, 2021 at 02:34 pm

Wish I was reading your alternate paragraph rather than this one. I too kept hoping he'd give some part of his 20% share of cap space back to his teammates. If one out of 53 players gets 20%, that means the other 52 on average get about 1.5%.

I kept hoping #12 would help for the good of his teammates, the fans, and Green Bay. Instead it is now looks like he recognized that the COVID cap reduction had the Packers in a bind, and seized the opportunity to leverage his own interests.

2 points
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jurp's picture

July 30, 2021 at 03:48 pm

For Rodgers, it's always only about Rodgers.

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Harold Drake's picture

July 31, 2021 at 12:08 am

Dear TGR,

Thanks for the capological explanations. I should like to put a question to you. Can the annual cap hit be severely diminished by paying a signing bonus?

For example, should the Packers enjoy a successful season under Rodgers this year (i.e. I suppose "successful" now has to mean a Super Bowl appearance, since the bar has been set so high and this is a "all in" year), were the Packers to pay a $30 million signing bonus in a new restructuring deal, would that cause his cap hit to become insignificant in 2022.

It seems to me that the chief driver behind FO's stubborn desire to terminate Rodgers is economic rather performance based. (Surely it can't make sense to anyone that the Packers have a greater chance of winning with Jordan Love in 2022 than with Rodgers unless AR12's arm falls off between now and next February.) So can the Packers not solve their massive cap issues in 2022 by pro-rating salary to 2023 or otherwise restructuring via a massive signing bonus paid to Rodgers next year when the cap goes up by an estimated $40 million or more? If the Packers cannot achieve substantial cap reductions with Rodgers in 2022 via this method then it is obvious that the team will need to trade him.

1 points
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jhtobias's picture

July 30, 2021 at 01:49 pm

Packer fans are funny breed Lets go all in ok then they complain about next years cap ... Packer Fans are the spoiled entitled brats of the nfl who got participation trophies growing up and mommu told them you are the best 👌 Pound Sand losers

-12 points
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Bearmeat's picture

July 30, 2021 at 02:07 pm

SO: TGR -

If we trade ARod in March of 22, how much dead money do we get in 22? Is there any for 23?

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Thegreatreynoldo's picture

July 30, 2021 at 06:50 pm

Dead is $26.85M in 2022, none in 2023, but $19.3M roughly in cap savings in 2022 (none in 2023).

GB could generate $19.3M in cap savings with an extension of AR next March using the scheduled base salary. That's so speculative since I don't know if AR would want $45M in cash for 2023? He had been scheduled to make $25.5M.

I'll probably write an article exploring one possible scenario for keeping AR for 2022 and beyond. I think all of them will exclude Davante Adams from the team.

4 points
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Tedlyflyfisher's picture

July 30, 2021 at 02:08 pm

I’d be happy to see them get rid of Jackson, Burks, Dexter Williams. They’re not worth what they’re making.

I also hope J.K. Scott and Bradley are gone, IF their camp competition outplays them.

6 points
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Coldworld's picture

July 30, 2021 at 02:14 pm

Thank you for weeding through this TGR. What I get out of it in terms of this year is that we have next to nothing for an emergency signing due to injury, let alone a more than vet minimum DL ( hope springs eternal), but may see some unheralded roster churn.

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Thegreatreynoldo's picture

July 30, 2021 at 07:03 pm

Pretty much. Waiting on the details of the Cobb and Kelly deals. Roster cutdowns might bring some additional space since the team has a lot of 3rd and 4th years guys on it. Not tons, probably, but several cuts that save $240K each plus perhaps a few that generate more. Could be $1M to $2.5M???? Since GB looks all-in, no point to doing that if the guy who generates money could help the team in 2021. Maybe worth it if some cap casualty who costs $3M becomes available.

2 points
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Since'61's picture

July 30, 2021 at 02:16 pm

Appreciate the update TGR. Good job as always.
Thanks, Since ‘61

5 points
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coolhand's picture

July 30, 2021 at 02:35 pm

And all of this number crunching just makes me kind of chuckle after hearing Rodgers at his presser. There are reasons why teams make the decisions they do. A team just can't keep every veteran player or character guy no matter how much they like them. It still is a business and tough decisions have to be made. The Colts released Manning when they owed him $25 million if he stayed. If Rodgers thinks he can go to another team and get his $45 million and be surrounded by stars he's dreaming.

9 points
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Swisch's picture

July 30, 2021 at 02:39 pm

My understanding is that the salary of Aaron Rodgers counted for more than $37 million against the cap for this upcoming season of 2021, which is about 20% of the total cap space.
I'm glad to admit that I'm wrong, and maybe that's all there is to it.
However, I think others may have been also using those numbers of $37 million/20%. If that's possibly true, please explain to us how we are wrong, and perhaps how we may have been confused.
Thanks, TGR, for any help. I'm glad for other fans to weigh in, too.

1 points
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Thegreatreynoldo's picture

July 30, 2021 at 07:16 pm

It was $37.202M and about 20% of the cap. You were not wrong. Now, AR and the team have moved money around so that his cap number will be $27.9M. The difference is $9.3M so the team shoved that into 2022 and 2023. His cap for 2022 is now a whopping $46M, about $7M more than it was yesterday.

AR didn't lose any money. He actually gained a smidge ($847K IIRC), though that seems fair since he will have to play 18 games instead of 17 games.

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jannes bjornson's picture

August 02, 2021 at 10:33 pm

Well, I guess they missed a chance to re-sign Hundley.

0 points
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Alphadork's picture

July 30, 2021 at 02:53 pm

Russ Ball has to have more facility in Excel than any other human alive.

2 points
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jeremyjjbrown's picture

July 30, 2021 at 03:59 pm

"I think he is too good, too valuable, to play for peanuts. "

I wish I could make peanuts.

4 points
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oceanstrength's picture

July 30, 2021 at 04:15 pm

used a lot of abbreviations the average person would not know. Poorly done.

-7 points
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dblbogey's picture

July 30, 2021 at 05:04 pm

We're not average people in here, we are exceptional people.

8 points
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HarryHodag's picture

July 30, 2021 at 05:05 pm

There's a few websites reporting the grim truth: as it sits now, the Packers are $50 MILLION over the salary cap for 2022. The cap is not expected to be much higher next year.

$50 MILLION! Those who don't follow the cap as closely as I do need to know that that number is beyond ridiculous. Rodgers re-working his contract helped this year, but his cap number next year...$42+ million or thereabouts! If the Packers were to sign Adams at $25 million a year, that would mean Rodgers and Adams would account for nearly 1/3 of the cap with 51 more players to go! Many of those players have signed large contracts!

Most observers I've read today say the Packers have gone 'all in' for 2021(with largely the same team) but they simply cannot keep it intact for 2022. This largely means Rodgers is gone next year by his choice or not. That would lower the cap hit to $17 million from 42+.

To those who think "they will find a way", well, you're right, they will have to find a way but it won't be to your liking.
Current starters will have to go. Keep an eye on the players they bring to the practice squad this year. Many are likely to be starters next year. The year after(2023) the new money from the media kicks in and they can do more with a higher cap, but keep fingers crossed for 2021, because 2022 will be tough to watch in all likelihood.

5 points
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Thegreatreynoldo's picture

July 30, 2021 at 07:37 pm

$49.4M over the cap for 2022, per OTC. And OTC doesn't include Adams, Tonyan, MVS, Lazard, or Patrick. It does include Jaire Alexander at $13.3M, which is likely overstated because the Packers will extend him and save $4M to $6M on his cap number. It also includes Randall Cobb at $8.25M, and that's not happening even regardless of whether AR is GB's QB in 2022 or not.

Could it be done? I think so, but it is difficult because there are actually only a few places to go for cap relief. GB would lose some muscle: Adams, maybe Zadarius, and perhaps some fat in Preston, Lowry, who many would consider muscle. Might have to play games with Clark's deal and with Bakh's, maybe some other deals.

2 points
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canadapacker's picture

July 30, 2021 at 09:20 pm

Every team is over the cap in their future years when successful and paying their stars. Except for the Patriots who tell them to leave. They then cut players or restructure things

0 points
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Since'61's picture

July 30, 2021 at 10:10 pm

TGR It would be good to know the cap hit for Bak if they release him after 2021.
The other possibility is that they work a mega deal for Rodgers, Adams and Bak for a ton of picks. However I doubt it many teams have the cap space to take on those 3 contracts. We'll see but it looks like 2021 or bust for a while after. Thanks, Since '61

1 points
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jannes bjornson's picture

August 02, 2021 at 10:57 pm

Rodgers extended; Adams gone; Bhak may be traded if Jenkins can assume the left tackle position.

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flackcatcher's picture

July 30, 2021 at 05:25 pm

Thanks TGR for the quick work on the Rodgers restructure. Like to be a fly on the wall over restructure via the Cobb signing. Still have to find a way to free up enough for injury etc. FO is threading a very tiny needle this season...

4 points
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Thegreatreynoldo's picture

July 30, 2021 at 07:39 pm

I put in $3M for churn, though that includes not just PUP and IR issues but paying incentives. Strictly speaking, a team can go over the cap limit to pay incentives without penalty - it just moves to 2022!

3 points
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scullyitsme's picture

August 01, 2021 at 08:47 am

Good article, thanks. Finally some facts on this site anyway. Complaining about AR’s cap number is futile. In this league the only way you get a good qb on the cheap is to draft him. We drafted a project that isn’t ready to start and our front office knew this at the time of drafting. At best we where getting love on a 1 maybe two year cheap deal before if he’s any good this site will turn on him because guess what… he’ll want 15% of the cap.Rodgers compared to others is a bargain. Or we could draft a awesome starting qb every 4 years.. those are your options, well there’s one more option and that’s to suck like the 70’s and 80’s

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