Aaron Rodgers has signed a contract extension, the Green Bay Packers announced Wednesday, that will reportedly make him the highest-paid player in NFL history.
Rodgers’ former teammate and current NFL Network analyst James Jones first reported the agreement, tweeting that Rodgers’ extension is for four years and averages $33.5 million annually in new money, plus available incentives each year, with more than $100 million guaranteed. Atlanta’s Matt Ryan held the previous benchmarks for annual salary ($30 million) and guaranteed money ($94.5 million).
Rodgers posted on Instagram later Wednesday with a photo of him from draft day in 2005, and a note reading:
“It’s been an amazing ride the last 13 years; excited to start year 14 knowing that my future is here, in Green Bay, for our 100th season. I’ve grown up in this place, and grown older and a little wiser along the way.
“Thank you to our incredible fan base for inspiring us players to be better year after year. Thank you to the Packers organization for standing by me time and time again and giving me the opportunity to lead this football team. And thank you to my teammates along the way, past and present who have impacted my life in so many positive ways, giving me friendships for life. Looking forward to making some more memorable moments this year, and for years to come....
#packers100thseason #packersfamily #packerforlife #midrange”
According to multiple reports, Rodgers will receive more than $80 million by March. Per NFL Network’s Mike Garafolo, Rodgers received a $57.5 million signing bonus.
Shortly before Jones tweeted the news Wednesday, ESPN’s Adam Schefter reported Rodgers and the Packers were expected to finalize a record-breaking extension by the end of the weekend. Schefter later reported that the deal includes $103 million practically guaranteed and $67 million due before the end of 2018.
Rodgers, 34, still had two years remaining on his contract, meaning he is now under contract through 2023. He will turn 40 in December of that year.
His previous $22 million annual average, which was the highest in NFL history when the deal was signed in April of 2013, had slipped to 10th among NFL quarterbacks before the new deal. Rodgers was scheduled to make a little over $20.5 million this season and $21.1 million in 2019.
Rodgers discussed his contract situation last week with ESPN Radio’s “Wilde and Tausch,” saying he was working with the team to reach a deal that works well for both sides, without hindering the Packers’ ability to build a contender.
“I’m not trying to screw them, you know,” Rodgers said. “This is a partnership. That’s the only way this is going to work, and the best way things work in this situation is that we’re in this thing together. And if they make that financial commitment, that’s what they’re saying, and also there’s an expectation that you’re going to play well. And then that’s my side of the bargain.”
Rodgers has spent his whole career with the Packers since they took him 24th overall in the 2005 draft. He is a six-time Pro Bowler, two-time first-team All-Pro and has a 103-55 record as a starter (including playoffs), leading the team to a Super Bowl XLV title.
The 14th-year veteran is the league’s all-time leader in passer rating (103.8) and interception rate (1.6 percent).
--Field Level Media