Create Account

Or log in with Facebook


Log in

Or log in with Facebook

How to Extend Aaron Rodgers Contract And Still Win A Super Bowl(s)

By Category

How to Extend Aaron Rodgers Contract And Still Win A Super Bowl(s)

Editors Note: As we have a self-professed NFL Salary Cap nerd among us in the comments section, I have invited TheGreatReynoldo to write in more detail about some cap-related topics. Here is the first of hopefully several articles; just one more thing we bring you here at CheeseheadTV you can't get elsewhere. 

I am assuming that GB does not want to significantly increase Aaron Rodgers’ cap hit for 2018. I also assume that the front office wants to be in a particularly good position to contend for Super Bowls over the next two or three seasons when Aaron Rodgers is most likely to retain enough physical skills to remain an elite quarterback.  I have also taken that some of the plus players on the team are getting older: Moreover, Dix, Montgomery, and Ryan will be free agents in 2019, along with Nelson, Cobb, and CM3, but I expect the front office to deal with those last three contracts this offseason, one way or another.  Daniels, Bulaga, Randall, Martinez, Crosby, Lowry, Murphy, Fackrell and Spriggs all will be FAs in 2020, as will Justin McCray if he appears in 6 games in 2018 and 6 more in 2019.   Nelson will probably only play in 2018 and perhaps 2019.   

My proposed extensions are both 5-year, $160M deals with a 6th year tacked on to accept a prorated bonus.  They both use an option bonus coupled with the 50% Down Rule (a/k/a the Gosder Cherilus rule ) to slow the rate of increase in the cap in both examples below.  The 50% Down Rule specifies that when the 2nd year base salary is less than 50% of the first year base, the difference between the two numbers, (here, $21M - $2M = $19M), is treated as a proration over the life of the contract, for up to 5 years.  Though Rodgers gets paid $21M in salary, for salary cap purposes the base salary is $2M with a $3.8M proration, which is applied in 2018 through 2022.  I propose to guarantee the option bonus.  I’d prefer to lower the compensation in the 6th year, as shown in the conservative option if Rodgers can be persuaded.  If not, I’d simply add $12M to the base salary to bring the cash up to $192M over 6 years ($32M AAV).  The 6th year in both cases is a year that is meant to be re-negotiated anyway or to be the "out" year, though they both have a fairly painful “out” in year 5.


The first contract above is extremely aggressive.  It includes an $11.20M cap hit for 2018, which results in $9.35M in additional cap space to acquire free agents this off-season. The piper gets paid in 2021.  If the cap continues to go up in $13M increments, that cap limit might be around $220M by 2021.  If so, a $40.1M cap hit would be 18.23% of the cap.  We can hope the union bargains for a larger percentage of a bigger pie (not all revenues earned by the owners are currently subject to a split between the owners and player salaries), or we can hope for an uncapped year.  


The second proposal is far more conservative, but it does not increase Rodgers’ cap hit in 2018, and the progression of the cap hits after that is gentle, considering the large numbers involved here.  Since 2 of the years fall in years that are not covered by the current CBA, the CBA imposes special rules that limit what teams can do to manipulate cap hits, with a goal of preventing teams from dumping cap into 2021 because 2021 potentially could be an uncapped year.  

One special rule is the "Deion Sanders Rule" which specifies that any prorated amounts in years 2018, 2019, and 2020 cannot be larger than the base salary, roster, workout and active roster bonuses.  A $67M signing bonus would have three $13.5M prorations or a total of $40.5M, so by rule, the non-amortized compensation in the first 3 years has to also be at least $40.5M.  The resulting contract would have cap hits totaling $81M in the first 3 years.  Since I do not want to increase Rodgers’ current cap hit for 2018, the rule requires $60M in total cap hits for 2019 and 2020.  If I reduced Rodgers' cap hit to $11M, I'd be forced to include caps hits for 2019 and 2020 that total at least $70M.  This is not ideal. 

The front office would have to do a good selling job on Rodgers.  While the AAV and cash earned in the first three years would set records, and the $85.2M guaranteed at signing could as well (base, roster in 2018 and option in 2019), the first year leaves much to be desired from a player’s perspective.  The cashed earned in year one is low.  He might receive just $14.20M when he signs the contract (and he’d have to wait 72 hours before he could even get that - there’s a rule!).  If getting the largest signing bonus is important to Rodgers (and I don't know that is the case), he would have to set aside some ego.  This type of extension allows the front office the option to retain some combination of Nelson/Cobb/CM3 or give some (or all) of them a fair, re-structured contract that allows them to remain in Green Bay at a cost that makes sense for the team.  The front office will have to persuade Aaron Rodgers that this type of deal provides a good opportunity for winning while still allowing him to earn that which he has earned.  


NFL Categories: 
  • Like Like
  • 0 points

Fan friendly comments only: off Comments (40) This filter will hide comments which have ratio of 5 to 1 down-vote to up-vote.

Bearmeat's picture

Great work Reynoldo!

I'm selfishly hoping for the latter option. Would settle for the former, and half expect Rodgers to wait the franchise out in 2018 to see if the team is improved.

Rebecca's picture

Yes. There's always the chance that Rodgers may want to play his twilight years in a warmer climate or Chicago where he always seems to win! He's stated that he'd like to play out his career in Green Bay which would pay handsomely in legacy alone. I'm picking the Packers to win the SB in either of the next 2 years or both. Then Aaron Rodgers will be the man for the ages regardless of the amount of $ he rakes in.

Thegreatreynoldo's picture

Thanks, Bearmeat. What one prefers as to the timing and progression of AR's cap hits in some ways reveals one's true beliefs about the current team and/or exactly how optimistic one is about the FO and coaches. Reducing AR's cap hit in 2018 by $9.35M would make signing Mo Wilkerson a lot easier, (presumably, we'd have money left over as well). We'd still have our "normal" cap space to sign another significant FA, and the remainder could be used on some minor to moderate acquisitions.

If you want AR's cap to remain $21.1M, that is fine. You might be thinking that we're fairly close, and a bit of work in FA and a good draft and better coaching should make us real contenders. If you want to increase AR's cap hit to $40M or $45, as one recent article suggested, I would think that means you don't believe the team has a significant chance of "success" in 2018.

Other rationales regarding AR's cap hit timing are possible as well.

Bearmeat's picture

Unfortunately, I don't think the team is "close" this year. The core of the roster is aging on offense, and there aren't enough playmakers on defense. So I'd be all about the BIG cap hit with ARod this year.

That said, if I'm ARod, I wait GB out this year to see how "close" they really are.....

John Kirk's picture

I just read a pretty incredible stat: No team since the advent of the salary cap in 1994 has won the SB with a QB taking up more than 13% of their cap.

Of course, as more and more teams pay their QB's more than 13% of the cap that will fall one day, but it's illustrative of the fact that paying Rodgers at a certain point will be counterproductive to accomplishing the goal of winning the SB. Where that line is is a great debate topic, but it begs caution before handing out this money to 12.

BTW, 23 million is roughly 13% of the new 177 million cap. We're discussing 30+? Caution.

The Browns plan was smart...Sashi was setting them up with a total roster before they got their QB on a 5 year rookie deal so they could win. Process over results. I'm not sure the process is correct in paying Rodgers 30+.

Oppy's picture

While I agree you need money to spread around because QB's don't win you championships, teams do...

That stat doesn't illustrate anything without a comparative control at work.

Correlation does not indicate causation.

John Kirk's picture

So dismiss the stat under "correlation doesn't indicate causation"?

What do you think that stat means? I think it's pretty fair to say that paying your quarterback or any one player a large percentage of your cap isn't conducive to winning SBs.

I mentioned above this will likely change as more and more teams pay their QB's over 13% of the cap. Heck, it could be this upcoming season.

It's pretty clear that having a total team around a young rookie deal QB is the way to go vs. the other way. OR...a QB who has very manageable cap charges as in the case of Brady the last two seasons. a missing piece ala Denver with Manning. Nobody would accuse us of having a roster ready to win the SB minus a QB. Our QB is the only reason we're relevant, so we've got it backward.

We're considering not only paying over 13% but well over that on one player and expecting we're going to win the SB after with the weak roster in totality around Aaron? Honestly, I love wishes and fantasies as much as the next guy but I look at football through different eyes. It's just incredibly unlikely we're winning the SB with Aaron Rodgers as a Packer IF we're going to pay him what he wants. That is realism. I didn't say impossible...just highly unlikely.

scullyitsme's picture

Uh, say what again? I liked the last part about signing Aaron Rodgers, that’s a smart idea.

Bearmeat's picture


Thegreatreynoldo's picture

Sorry. The last time the CBA ended, teams dumped salary into 2010 because it didn't have a cap. The NFL docked the Cowboys $10 million in cap space and the Redskins $36 million in cap space for dumping large chunks of long-term contracts into the uncapped 2010 season.

The CBA has some legalese to curb that natural tendency. It didn't entirely deter me: I stuck $40M cap hits in that potential uncapped year.

Royalty Free GM's picture

I would aim for the quarter BILLION mark... with zero Superbowls guaranteed.

Lare's picture

Unless the Packers can get a healthy OL, some faster WR's and a legitimate TE that can get some separation Rodgers will never be able to make it through another season without being injured.

I would say backload the contract as much as possible until they can improve the talent on this team and start working on their next starting QB.

flackcatcher's picture

Nicely done tgr. As we all know, the devil is in the details, as your article neatly shows. Either way, with veteran contracts up and a large number of draft choices in this year, and maybe next year drafts, I expect the ax to swing mighty hard this and next year. Since 2010, the Packers have gotten by with reloads, overhauls, and soft rebuilds, thanks to the foresight of Ted Thompson and the cap work of Russ Ball. Well, times up for that core group. Age and injuries caught up with them, so the new Packer GM is having his hand forced faster than he wants. Which puts Gut in a awkward situation with Rodgers. Whether next year is a 'hard rebuild' will depend on team play, and Rodgers contract demands. Add that Mike McCarthy is in a 'show it year' per his contract, and that Mark Murphy may be out as Packer president next year, things could get mighty interesting at 1265. Glad I'm not the GM.

flackcatcher's picture

Oh, and big thanks to Al for adding James to the cheesehead tv team. James does a fine job explaining the insane way the NFL handles their player, and by extension team finances. You can really tell that the NFL is in the entertainment industry by looking at their money.

HankScorpio's picture

That $32 AAV seems like quite a jump from the current clubhouse leader of $27,5 mil AAV, set last month by Grappolo signing. I imagine that number will go up as FA plays out. But a $4.5 mil AAV jump seems like a stretch.

Thegreatreynoldo's picture

Had to take my best guess, essentially. I pondered what AAV to use. Cousins should sign fairly soon. Not sure if he pushes the AAV up, but it sounds like he will. Atlanta is negotiating an extension with Matt Ryan. Pretty sure his deal raises the bar,

Obviously, $30M AAV makes things easier. You could take roughly $2M off each cap hit. Note though that in terms of cap hits, the average of the cap hits for the first 5 years of the contract is $30M per year. That is, the first five years of cap hits add up to $150M. I have dumped $10M in dead money into the 6th year. Either extend or if AR has declined, eat $10M in dead money. I am hopeful the cap has grown large enough that $10M then seems like $4M does at present.

BTW, I've noticed in your recent posts more thoughts on the cap. EDIT: I noted Garopollo, but Stafford got $27M AAV in 2016. Since then, the cap went up 8.9% that offseason (raises it to $29.42M) and 6.1% this offseason, which would increase it to $31.21M in adjusted cap dollars. AR is better than Stafford. No idea what AR wants, but I suspect that GB is willing to do whatever is necessary to re-sign AR, short of the ridiculous.

HankScorpio's picture

It was a quibble. Shaving that $2 mil off each cap yr isn't going to alter much of anything.

And you're right that as each domino falls, the bar will rise. With Cousins on the wide-open market, who knows what craziness might ensue? Who was the last with his pedigree on the open market? Brees? He had big questions about his shoulder, tho.

Perhaps I am foolishly optimistic hoping the 5 yr total comes in at even a single penny under $150 mil.

Thegreatreynoldo's picture

No worries about a quibble. In the end, IDK what AR's priorities and demands might be, but I had to settle on some parameters. Maybe he waits for Cousins and Ryan and takes $1 more on AAV, or settles for a Brady like hometown discount and takes less? Or even consents to a 7th year with whopping numbers that make the averages look huge even though he knows he probably never sees the money in the 7th year. No idea how AR's justified sense of self-worth might translate into solid numbers.

I tried a 3-year deal at $30M AAV, with option years for 2021 and beyond. That didn't work out well: $90M in cap hits - $21M for 2018 (since I didn't want to adopt Andy Herman's notion of increasing AR's current cap hit) meant $69M in cap hits to be distributed over just 2019 and 2020. That's ugly. I tried keeping AR's current contract and tacking on 3 to 5 years. That can work, but there are risks about how good AR will be in 2023 or 2024 and overall fairness. We'd likely be guaranteeing money in the 3rd and 4th years of such a contract, and the dead money would be large in the out years.

Oppy's picture

I think AR's psychology in terms of how he looks at his negotiations is that he is a member of a fraternity of NFL players, specifically QBs, and that it is his duty to command as much money as possible to help increase the pay of all other NFL players, specifically QBs.

I truly don't believe it is a simple case of ego. I believe he IS aware of his status as (arguably) THE elite QB in the NFL, but I don't believe the money means as much to his ego, so much as he may feel that he owes it to every other QB and NFL player in the league to set the financial bar as high as possible, since it sets the market for all other contracts to be gauged against.

Thegreatreynoldo's picture

He would be grossly underpaid in 2018 and 2019 if we held him to his current contract. As long as AR is the best QB, paying him the average of the top 5 QBs pretty much has to be less than making him the highest paid QB. Indeed, going into the first franchised year, AR's salary won't even be in the top 5 salaries that would be used to calculate the franchise tag, so really we'd be paying him that average of the 2nd best through 6th best QB (if AR is still the best QB going into 2020).

To use an example, Brady taking a hometown discount, and the timing of AR's contract signing being way back in 2013 when the cap was $123M vs. $177.2M today, those two things hurt Cousins by driving down the franchise tag number. The house opinion probably is that Cousins never was a top 5 QB, so he still did very well under the franchise tag, but it could have been even more lucrative for him. The opposite should prove true in AR's case.

The franchise tag really should be thought of as the average of the top 5 quarterbacks who have recently signed new deals that more accurately reflect the current market.

Thegreatreynoldo's picture

Reasons to extend:

1. Because there was a gentlemen's agreement to re-negotiate in 2018 (yes, speculative). I don't think it is an accident that AR's current contract has no guaranteed money/dead money left for 2018. I suspect the two sides meant 2018 as the year to replenish the amortized money. [Counter argument is that AR signed what he signed and both sides are stuck with it. I actually never understood why AR agreed not to one but to two such years with no dead money left.]

2. Keep the face of the franchise happy. Holding out, reporting after only after 6 games (the magic number to gain an accrued season - not so important to a highly paid guy like AR) would tarnish AR's legacy, though. I'd note that folks are forgiving Wilkerson's decline in recent productivity just because he was unhappy playing for terrible Jets teams. Being unhappy can affect performance.

3. Keep GB an attractive place for FAs and even rookies to play. Though being jerks to one's own players doesn't seem to harm NE, at least so far.

4. Pride. Several aspects, but AR single-handedly keeps GB in the forefront of the NFL. There will always be nationally televised games while AR is in GB, which helps guys earn pro bowls if GB is the Thursday, Sunday, or Monday night game. Other players watch GB. I can remember rooting for Sterling Sharpe and Lofton to put up stats so I could point to a great GB player even when the team stunk. Having Lofton made watching wretched GB teams easier to religiously watch each week.

Probably are more reasons, but in terms of dollars and cents, holding AR to his current deal and franchising him probably costs less and financially has far less risk. Extending him means accepting $80M in dead money. Sure, franchise tags are guaranteed, but only a year at a time, and GB can assess whether AR is still worth that money in real time and not have to project years into the future.

Cubbygold's picture

You're not missing anything. If the team wants to win superbowls (not the goal of every organization or group of fans) they can't afford to make 12 the highest paid QB in the league. They've got a much more affordable and flexible option in the franchise tag and a mgmt team with courage isn't afraid to use it.

12 wants to follow in the footsteps of Brady and sign an extension that leaves money on the table to sign additional FAs, then great. Otherwise I wouldn't just hand him a raise

Cubbygold's picture

Guess Brady will have to settle for being the 21st highest paid QB this year with another trip to the superbowl.

Denver's picture

Wow, impressive...I need another beer

Thegreatreynoldo's picture

I know. I got pointers that making it too complicated causes eyes to glaze over. Still, I felt I needed to explain why the first three years can't all have all low caps which only ramp up in the last two or three years. Could normally, but not now since some years aren't covered by the CBA.

Denver's picture

You done good, TGR, very good. Hope to see more from you.

Packmaniac's picture

I suck at math, particularly when it involves player egos and whatnot, so I’ll just stick to team concerns without knowing whether or not I have a clue... Gotta do something about our defensive backfield depth consisting of young draft picks and UDFAs. Enough already!! Jesus H. Packers need to sign two VETERAN cornerbacks (even if they’re inexpensive stop gap guys) for depth because young UDFAs like Hawkins, Brown and Pipkins are not who you want to lean on when injuries mount. We saw how well the UDFA depth thing worked out this year, and when we sent Ladarius Gunter to the slaughter against Julio Jones in the playoff bludgeoning at Atlanta two years ago...To have half of your allotted 2018 funds tied up in 6 players (Rodgers, Mathews, Nelson, Perry, Cobb and Adams) serms troublesome for sure. 50% of your money is committed to barely over 10% of your roster, and 4 of the 6 are in only two position groups — QB and WR. Good luck with that. Only two of those guys — Rodgers and Adams - is worth their salary on the open market. None of the others would get 10 million on the open market. Not a chance...Again, I don’t know exactly how the cap works, but am pretty sure if you give an iffy 15% of your roster 50% of available money, you’re not going to visit the mountaintop anytime soon.

Thegreatreynoldo's picture

GB has 78.985M* (44.56% of cap) tied up in their top 6 players. That is actually common. Top 6 salaries for other teams by Cap #:

Philly: 73.781M
Carolina: 80.916M
MN: 66.75M but really much more when they sign a QB
PIT: $81.385M
KC: $87.5M
Chargers: 78.519M
Indy: 69.369M (still has $72M in cap space)
Balt: 79.9M (bad team, $4.9M in cap, Flacco = $29M dead).

One could do a project to see if GB has more highly paid players under-performing than the average for other teams. IDK, maybe in 2017, maybe not in other years. The real problem in my view is that we don't have enough players still on rookie contracts playing well. That is, there aren't enough young players whose play exceeds their cost. Guys whose value exceeds their pay include Clark by a lot, Martinez and Williams/Jones/Monty combined as a unit (the RB committee) by a fair amount, plus Randall and Lowry. Adams outplayed his contract in 2017, but he will need a monster year to outplay his 2018 compensation.

[Your point about allocation to a few positions is something others can comment on.]

*I would count Adams' cap as $14.1M because I'd add in the $3.6M he got after he was done for the year as essentially a 2018 cost. Whether the bean counter places the $3.6M in the 2017 box or adds it to the 2018 box makes no difference in our ability to keep and acquire talent in 2018 through FA and re-signing players. I didn't do that because I wanted to compare numbers with other teams, and I am not sufficiently conversant with their situations to adjust their numbers in the same way.

HankScorpio's picture

"The real problem in my view is that we don't have enough players still on rookie contracts playing well."

That's my view, as well. Imagine that Kyle Murphy was penciled in at RG and Jason Spriggs at RT and both were considered solid. That would take the o-line from 100% non-rookie deals to 60% and lower the cap accordingly. Alas, that is not the case outside the most optimistic projections.

Imagine that Biegel/Fackrell/Gilbert would provide solid pass rusher depth. We're not looking at spending big FA $$ to shore up the spot. Again, that's more hope than reality.

Imagine Quentin Rollins built on his first year promise instead of heading the opposite direction. DB depth moves from 'need' to 'want'. Instead, the Packers look like they could use a vet to shore things up.

In my view, the only truly awful contract on the books for the Packers is Nick Perry. All the rest were reasonable deals when signed. Any kind of lucrative deal is going to look bad in its final year but they managed with Nelson, Cobb and Matthews just fine up to this point. But because their rooks are underachieving, there is the need to sign the more expensive vets to supplement the draft misses. And those cap hits that would be manageable with decent drafting become problematic.

Thegreatreynoldo's picture

I agree, Hank. Example 1: if Fackrell (or Gilbert or Odom) had shown considerably more, perhaps we don't spend $3.5M on Brooks. That would let us keep a young developmental guy at $465K and we'd have rolled over $3M more.

4thand1's picture

TGR, maybe you should get a job with the government and balance the budget,lol.

croatpackfan's picture

TGR it's a really great article. If Aaron and Packers do not agree something like you suggested, this article can educate us about the complexity of running the Salary Cap. Thank you very much for the effort ...

bodei1newbie1's picture

i think it's time to start thinking about trading rodgers to another team so he can win a superbowl why i say that is the packers don't have the money ,two sent him to a team that will win a superbowl , three get some high draft picks (ps i'm a great fan of the pack but now i think it's time to rebuild )

Cubbygold's picture

Not the appropriate place for this comment, but there's no article yet. Michael Bennett has a pretty modest cap hit the next three years, and it doesn't look like the eagles gave up much... wouldn't that have been a perfect move for GB? Is wilkerson that much of a better player/fit for the team? Is he going to come over for that low of a cap hit?

Just hope gute made what he feels is a good offer and it didn't happen, as opposed to not even considering the move

Thegreatreynoldo's picture

I agree with Jonathan and Cubby. Wut? Anyone other than the headcase Bennett. Hard feeling between the Bennett family and GB probably make that deal impossible.

I do think Philly got a very good deal. They sent WR Marcus Peters, a UDFA with 5 career receptions for 45 yards, and a fifth-round pick to Seattle for Bennett and a 7th rounder. Bennett had 8.5 sacks, but is 32. Seattle eats some dead money, and Philly gets Bennett for $5.65M cash and cap, with two more years with no dead money.

Cubbygold's picture


stockholder's picture

Really , Really good. We blasted TT for being cheap and not doing enough. But the packers and A-Rod would not even be this close if he didn't let some players go. Watching the budget crunch only suggest some fan favorites are going to get hurt. Hopefully they keep their heads above water and still can honor the contracts. I'd much rather go with the draft than sign another Bennett. I don't agree with paying these big numbers. A-Rod is a great player. But a plan needs to be in place now that he's 34. (Everyone declines) Remaking the offense with a drafted QB is a must, and should be looked at with the CAP in MIND. I don't see the value in paying A-Rod 30 mil a year. It will distance him from the team. Popularity has it's PLACE. But the money their about to pay him, will still hurt the team. Is this about A-ROD or Team? Yea, business is business. The money turns people off. But this is just to much for a aging QB!

Since '61's picture

TGR - Great Job! And thank you for all of your hard work and excellent responses to our fellow bloggers. I’m not sure how the Packers should handle this but the numbers are getting crazy. Yes, Rodgers deserves to be paid but it looks like we cannot avoid huge cap hits one way or the other.
We’re going to take some cap casualties over the next 2 seasons for sure. Bulaga, Jordy, Cobb, and CM3 at least.
Again, job well done. Thanks , Since ‘61

Spock's picture

TGR, Congratulations to you for being an "Official" contributing author to CHTV. Kudos! I always enjoy your thorough explanations, even if I do get "eyes glazed over", lol. I love numbers and math but from a Mechanical Engineers perspective, i.e. love Trigonometry and Geometry, and I enjoy the balancing of equations in doing Algebra, but number crunching in a CPA style leaves me cold. I always "learn things" (aka Pride on NCIS New Orleans) from your explanations. I'm glad Jersey Al has added your expertise to the other writers on the site. I'd much rather read this type of article than the click bait "Ty Montgomery must be a tight end" type article. Glad you were selected to join the CHTV writing contributor group!! I look forward to your contributions (articles and/or comments) in the future.

Royalty Free GM's picture

Mild. You took an easy road with your two calculations. Now show your “cap nerd” expertise and show “Brady” like calculations. If BB was here what kind of deal he could do with Rodgers. And don’t say it’s not possible. Don’t take an easy road here and at least try. Do we have BB level of cap skills in Packers? Calculate long term deal, “life-time” deal, which keeps Rodgers here until he retires. How much lower cap hit numbers we are getting then...

Log in to comment, upload your game day photos and more!

Not a member yet? Join free.

If you have already commented on Cheesehead TV in the past, we've created an account for you. Just verify your email, set a password and you're golden.

Or log in with Facebook

Packers Tickets, Ticket King


"A school without football is in danger of deteriorating into a medieval study hall. "
"The Bears still suck!"
"I firmly believe that any man’s finest hour, the greatest fulfillment of all that he holds dear, is that moment when he has worked his heart out in a good cause and lies exhausted on the field of battle – victorious."