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Aaron Rodgers is once again playing word games

Mike Florio and Charean Williams wonder how close Aaron Rodgers really was to leaving the Packers for retirement or another team and look ahead to Green Bay's next steps in making it to the Super Bowl.

Aaron Rodgers’s penchant for precision in language became obvious last year, when he deliberately obfuscated his vaccination status by saying “yeah, I’ve been immunized” and playing gotcha with reporters who failed to ask a follow-up question premised on the possibility that Rodgers was playing word games regarding whether he’d gotten his shots. He clearly was playing word games.

He’s doing it again. His Twitter post announcing his plan to play for the Packers in 2022 quibbles with the notion that he “signed” a new contract, and with the report that it’s a four-year, $200 million deal.

“Hey everyone, just wanted to clear some things up; YES I will be playing with the [Packers] next year, however, reports about me signing a contract are inaccurate, as are the supposed terms of the contract I ‘signed.’ I’m very excited to be back,” Rodgers wrote.

First of all, no one reported that Rodgers actually “signed” the contract. Ian Rapoport of NFL Media (the first non-McAfee person to report the news) said that Rodgers “agreed to terms.” This means there’s a deal, but that the paperwork has yet to be signed. It’s not uncommon to say that a player has “agreed to terms” before he actually puts pen to paper. So his decision to take issue with the technicality that he hasn’t “signed” is technically inaccurate, because no one said he did.

Second, as to the terms of the agreement, there’s often an inaccuracy or two between the initial reports and the official terms. Reported as a four-year, $200 million contract, it’s apparently a four-year, $200 million extension, making it (perhaps) a five-year, $226.47 million contract. Or maybe there’s some other minor issue, a rounding error or whatever. Regardless, Rodgers got paid -- and the details eventually will be precisely known.

Looking at it more broadly, WHY DOES HE CARE? He’s staying in Green Bay. Surely, he’s not staying without a new contract that reduces his $46.66 million cap number. Why does he have to be “that guy” and take issue with meaningless details?

It serves only to confuse Packers fans, who will now wonder whether truly he has agreed to remain with the team beyond 2022, and whether the team has secured any cap relief at all.

A cynic would say that Rodgers was simply looking for attention after having his decision to return leapfrogged by the news that the Broncos traded for Russell Wilson, along with the not-so-subtle suggestion that Wilson was Plan A, not Plan B, for Nathaniel Hackett’s new team. Regardless, it’s entirely possible that Rodgers can be both one of the great quarterbacks of all time and extremely petty. His decision to take issue with stupid details about his inevitable new deal with the Packers makes him the GOAT, when it comes to worrying about meaningless details.