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Dear Aaron Rodgers: Ask for a piece of the gross revenue

Green Bay Packers quarterback Aaron Rodgers wants to play until he's 40, but also understands that his situation could change as his career continues.

Packers quarterback Aaron Rodgers doesn’t like me very much. Which is fine. I still think he’s a great quarterback, and I still would like to see him get much more than $22 million per year from the Packers, especially with the Falcons now paying Matt Ryan $30 million per year.

Rodgers won’t say that, of course. He knows it wouldn’t be received very well by fans who are far more inclined (inexplicably) to side with the billionaires who don’t play the game over the millionaires who do. So when he spoke about his contract to Peter King of NBC’s Football Morning in America, Rodgers chose his words very, very carefully, grossly downplaying a contractual situation that has become glaringly embarrassing.

“It’s only been on my mind because . . . people have been writing and talking about it a lot,” Rodgers initially told King. “There have been many conversations about it.”

(So, basically, if people hadn’t been writing or talking about it, Rodgers wouldn’t have noticed the parade of lesser quarterbacks systematically leapfrogging him over the past two years, from Andrew Luck to Derek Carr to Matthew Stafford to Jimmy Garoppolo to Kirk Cousins to Matt Ryan? Sorry, but that’s just not credible.)

“I think that there’s some merit to looking into where you do a non-traditional contractual agreement,” Rodgers added. “If anybody at this point is gonna be able to do something like that, I think there needs to be a conversation about it. I never said anything about [tying the contract to] the cap. I just think there’s ways to do contracts where you can still be competitive so the team is happy about it, but have some more freedom.”

That seems to be an implicit acknowledgement of the report that Rodgers may be looking for some sort of a clause that would give Rodgers a way to void his deal prematurely, if/when (when) he’s leapfrogged again. And that’s most likely not anything the Packers would ever do, not when they can squat on him for the next four years (two under his contract and two under the franchise tag), at an average payout far lower than current market value.

Here’s an idea, inspired by the news that the Packers generated $454.9 million in gross revenue and $34 million in profit: Rodgers should base his total pay not on the salary cap but on the money this publicly-traded business earns.

Of course, if he bases it on net revenue, creative accounting will ensure that there is no net revenue. So why not ask for a piece of the gross?

If Rodgers is indeed that valuable to the Packers (and he is), why not reward him accordingly? And with no billionaire owner in position to direct those millions of profit into his or her vault, why not ensure that a portion of the profits goes to the guy most responsible for generating them?