We now know that Aaron Rodgers will be traded to the Jets. We also know what the Jets will send the Packers in the deal.
There still are some unknowns with this transaction. Foremost among them is what Rodgers’ contract will look like.
Ian Rapoport offers the details on what the current deal looks like.
For his 2023 salary, the #Jets picking up Aaron Rodgers’ already guaranteed option bonus of $58.3M means that it converts to a signing bonus for cap reasons -- creating $43.7M of cap space and making his 2023 hit $15.7M.— Ian Rapoport (@RapSheet) April 25, 2023
Allow me to clarify what this means. The Jets will pay that bonus of $58.3 million to Rodgers, but only $15.7 million will count against the salary cap in 2023. That part is simple enough.
The other $43.7 million doesn’t just disappear, however. The Jets will be charged that against the cap in future years.
This is if the contract remains as it is. Tom Pelissero, however, indicates there will be at least some sort of change to the deal before the trade is executed.
It’ll be a day or two before the Aaron Rodgers trade is submitted to the league office — he’ll sign a revised contract with the #Packers to facilitate the trade and help Green Bay’s cap. But everything has been agreed to and will be official before the draft. He’ll be a Jet. https://t.co/xFcU9AHSnq— Tom Pelissero (@TomPelissero) April 24, 2023
This only mentions changes that impact the Packers, however. Will the deal be adjusted for the Jets?
SNY’s Connor Hughes suggests the answer is yes.
All Aaron Rodgers wants to do is win. His only focus is another ring(s).— Connor Hughes (@Connor_J_Hughes) April 24, 2023
His reworked contract and desire to play beyond 2023 reflect that. #Jets
(Stupid phone is overheating again)
Column: Aaron Rodgers cares only about winning. His soon-to-be-signed reworked contract & intentions to play beyond 2023 indicate that https://t.co/GrniFlBQEI— Connor Hughes (@Connor_J_Hughes) April 25, 2023
While the trade is agreed to, it’s not official yet. That’s because Rodgers has yet to sign a reworked contract to join the Jets. That’s only a formality. The two sides will take care of that in short order and, once they do, it’s believed to be one that will be incredibly team friendly.
Rodgers has made $305 million in on-field earnings throughout his career. Money is no longer his focus. He has one ring — he wants more (plural). In order to do so the expectation is that he will structure his contract so that the Jets have the financial means to build a championship team around him at all levels.
This offseason, aside from the draft where the Jets still own selections in the first two rounds, is virtually over. The Jets made some notable additions, including wideouts Mecole Hardman and Rodgers’ BFF Allen Lazard. But this financial flexibility Rodgers is expected to give the team extends beyond the offseason that’s already over. There’s nothing else New York can do at this moment, but next offseason, they’ll have the luxury of remaining aggressive while still having their quarterback.
Hughes’ phrasing is very vague and could mean a number of different things. It would certainly be “team friendly” if Rodgers agreed to a substantial paycut. This would benefit the Jets both now and in the future.
The contract could also conceivably be restructured to lower the short term cap hit even further by pushing even more of it into the future. That would give the Jets more short term flexibility while he is here but would reduce flexibility by the same amount in the future.
The amount of money being changed in the new contract is another important question that needs to be answered.
These will be key points to examine as we continue to analyze the trade.