The New York Jets traded picks to the Green Bay Packers for quarterback Aaron Rodgers this offseason. Financial negotiations were required to finalize the trade. To make it happen, Rodgers moved a $58.3 million option bonus to 2024, bringing his total owed amount to over $107 million that year. On Wednesday, Rodgers agreed to the new deal after adjustments were made.
According to NFL Media, Rodgers will sign a two-year contract worth $75 million that guarantees his position until 2024. While this technically is a five-year deal, it has two optional years that are included to spread out bonus proration. The Jets will have flexibility in building their roster as the 2023 cap number is just under $9 million.
Rodgers’ previous contract guaranteed him almost $110 million, but he will be taking a $35 million pay cut to join New York.
Rodgers stated in an interview with ESPN that the team gave up significant pieces, which indicates that they think this is more than just a one-year deal. While he is aware of this, he is currently having a great time with the team and does not believe it will be a one-and-done situation, although anything could happen with his health or the team’s success.
In addition to giving up valuable draft picks, including a first-round spot dropping from 13 to 15 and a second-round pick in 2023, plus a conditional pick in 2024 turning into a first-rounder if Rodgers plays 65% of snaps in 2023, he also wanted the Jets to have the flexibility to make a significant trade or free agency signing.
Rodgers told Peter King of NBC Sports that ultimately, he did what he felt was right and it made him feel the best. “I thought it was important they knew how committed I was. And in my conversations with [GM] Joe [Douglas], he has made it very clear the vision for the football team. You probably agree with this. This year, compared to like 2005, the number of transactions that happen now with guys getting cut and the number of trades — way more than before. Big names move at the trade deadline now. I wanted to make sure that if somebody valuable came available that we’d be able to get him. I’m very happy with the contract. I feel great about it.”
Rodgers is emulating Tom Brady by joining a new team after playing for one franchise for over 18 seasons in pursuit of another Super Bowl and accepting a paycheck that’s likely lower than his actual value. Brady signed a two-year contract worth $50 million when he joined the Tampa Bay Buccaneers and won the Super Bowl in his first season with his new team.
Rodgers is among five quarterbacks who have won three or more MVP awards. Unlike him, the other four quarterbacks played for multiple teams, and two of them won Super Bowls with their second team, including Brady. Interestingly, out of the eight previous Super Bowl-winning quarterbacks who were traded by their teams, none of them made it back to the Super Bowl. In fact, only one of those quarterbacks managed to win a playoff game. Rodgers, who is 39 years old, seems to be enjoying his new team, the Jets, and his new contract indicates his commitment to helping them compete.
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