Green is the theme for Aaron Rodgers.
The four-time MVP traded shades of green this offseason, heading from Green Bay to New York after a long, arduous separation from his former team.
As was the case when Rodgers rumors first started, his contract was reported to be something of a “roadblock” for an acquiring team, with a hefty $60 million number due for 2023. While that figure was a little bit smoke-and-mirrors, Rodgers’ future money was not.
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Soon after Rodgers was traded to the Jets, reports broke that he would sign a reworked deal that was deemed team-friendly. It took some months to get it done, but Rodgers did put pen to paper on a new deal — and he gave up a fair amount of green in the process.
Here’s what to know about Rodgers’ new deal, and why he took a pay cut to help the Jets out:
Aaron Rodgers contract details
On Aug. 1, Aaron Rodgers signed a new, two-year, $75 million deal. Somewhat surprisingly, Rodgers took a pay cut: He was originally due $110 million guaranteed on his prior deal, meaning he took a $35 million pay cut with his new contract (more on that below).
Here’s how his numbers break down over the duration of the contract, per Spotrac:
Year Base Salary Cap hit 2023 $1,838,888 $8,888,888 2024 $3,161,112 $17,161,112 2025 $37,500,000 $51,500,000 2026 VOID VOID 2027 VOID VOID 2028 VOID VOID
If you’re confused as to where Rodgers is getting his $75 million in guarantees from, it comes from his signing bonus. While he gets that money up front, the remainder of the guarantee against the Jets’ cap in void years between 2026 and 2028.
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Originally, Rodgers’ cap number for 2024 sat at just about $107 million, but that was negotiated to just $17,161,112 after the new deal was signed.
Why did Aaron Rodgers take a pay cut?
As far as why Rodgers took a pay cut, it was essentially for the betterment of the team.
When asked about inking the new deal, Rodgers said it was a win for all parties involved.
“(The deal is) a win-win-win for everybody,” Rodgers said in August. “A win for me — I get paid a ton of money. A win for the team — we get a low cap number and deferred some cash. A win for other guys that we can bring in and sign. I have no complaints. I’m not missing it at all. …
“The team gave up significant pieces for it to just be a one-year deal,” Rodgers said, via ESPN. “I’m aware of that. … Anything could happen with my body or the success we have this year, but I’m having a blast, so I really don’t see this as a one-year-and-done thing.”
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Rodgers and the Jets almost immediately made good on the pay cut, with the team signing free agent running back Dalvin Cook with some of the savings from the Rodgers pay cut. Thanks in part to Corey Davis’ unexpected retirement, the team still has some Rodgers savings — enough to make a splash for a player in a trade before the deadline, if needed.
“Big names move at the trade deadline now,” Rodgers said to NBC Sports’ Peter King. “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.”
That could mean that a big name could be on the move to the Jets — something that seemed unthinkable prior to Rodgers’ arrival in New York.