The 34-year-old future Hall-of-Famer Aaron Rodgers recently agreed to a four-year, $134 million contract extension with the Green Bay Packers. The XLV Super Bowl MVP and two-time league MVP is set to be one of the highest paid players in the NFL with this new extension, securing his spot long-term in Wisconsin. While this deal is obviously great for Rodgers, Packers fans and NFL fans alike also have to consider how this extension will affect the Packers going forward.
After this new contract, Rodgers’ expected 2018 salary cap hit is projected to be $20.9 million, according to calculations made by Over the Cap. While this isn’t terrible for the Packers, as it means that Rodgers’ contract will account for only 11.8 percent of Green Bay’s salary cap, it still isn’t great. Although it was obviously imperative that the Packers paid arguably the most important player in their franchise’s history, it did not leave the team’s salary cap in a great situation in the long-term. In 2019, Rodgers’ cap hit will rise to 13.9 percent of the salary cap, leaving less room for other guys to get paid. On the fourth year of the deal, Rodgers will be making $73 million, with another possible $4 million coming from incentives. One key player that the Packers could be forced to part ways with after this season is HaHa Clinton-Dix, who is an unrestricted free agent after this season. As an integral part of Green Bay’s defense, Clinton-Dix could choose to go elsewhere if the Packers do not have enough money to keep him in Green Bay.
While this deal was important and probably unavoidable for Green Bay, it leaves them in a tough position in the future. With Rodgers taking up so much future salary cap space, it will be difficult for the Packers to resign pricey players and will also be tough to for them to attract free agency talent, as those players can most likely get more money elsewhere. Regardless, the Packers have some good young pieces on their team that still have much room to grow, so another Packers playoff run could be feasible given that Aaron Rodgers is healthy and playing like we all know he can. The only things that could truly hold this Packers team back from a deep playoff run would be Aaron Rodgers not staying healthy and more importantly, the fact that the NFC will be extremely good this season and most likely for seasons to come. Only time will tell how this new contract extension plays out and if Aaron Rodgers and the Green Bay Packers have what it takes to win another Super Bowl.
Sean Zarzatian, Underdawg Sports Writer