NFL insider thinks a fake-out Aaron Rodgers retirement is on the table to screw Packers
No NFL insider believes Aaron Rodgers is expected to retire and walk away this season.
In a what-if world, it’s funny to imagine the Green Bay Packers could see the case of Brett Favre retiring again with Aaron Rodgers. If you ask Ian Rapoport of Pro Football Talk, he thinks that might actually be a possible scenario.
Rodgers has a few options that he can choose to exercise.
First, he could simply go back to the beams. Second, he could decide to return to the NFL but work with the Packers to find a business partner. Third, he can retire.
And now, fourthly, he can strategically retire, with the intention of not stopping in a few months to eventually play in 2023.
Rapoport has smashed a pretty interesting set of timelines that Rodgers is in.
Rodgers has a fully guaranteed $58.3 million option bonus exercisable between March 17 and the first week of the regular season. If he retires before that window opens and if he doesn’t opt out before that window closes, the Packers will be on the clock, bound by the obligation to pay him either the option bonus or owe the same amount in base salary for 2023.
When Favre was not dumped in 2008, the Packers were able to afford the $12 million compensation package under the salary cap. This allowed the team to take its time trading it out of the conference. If Rodgers suddenly returns in late July, as Favre did, the Packers will have to immediately commit to the cap, if Rodgers’ total salary of $59.465 million for 2023 puts them over the top.
Unless the Packers deliberately find a way to save $60 million in cap space (not going to be easy, given that they’re currently projected to be over capped for 2023), Rodgers could force them to give it up to basically whoever it takes by the end of the same business day as you. His contract came back at the expense of the Packers’ cap.
So, basically, such a scenario would wreck packages within the confines of the salary cap and push control of the situation squarely into Rodgers’ hands.
Rapoport also noted that if Rodgers wants to skip the OTAs, retirement is an easy way to do so without getting criticized or questions about why he didn’t show up.
Did Tom Brady popularize the strategy of retiring and then changing your mind after a few weeks? It’s great when you don’t have to deal with the consequences of your decisions!
Aaron Rodgers’ delay in his decision has left the door open to rampant speculation
Aaron Rodgers, one has to guess, probably doesn’t like scenarios like that being fired. He regularly points fingers at the media for creating stories about him. Packers can’t like this either.
This, though, is really what happens when you delay making a decision and go public on a dark retreat, an event one might think would result in silence and caution, and not telling the world at large about it.
The world thought Rodgers would emerge from his dark experience with an answer. It doesn’t seem like it, because we’re several days away from him waking up with no new information on whether Rodgers wants to play (and for whom) next season or retire.
Rodgers leans directly into the role of heir to Favre. After that, he just needs to play for the Jets and then crush the hearts of Packers fans by ending his career with the Minnesota Vikings.