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Inside the new Aaron Rodgers deal

Michael Smith and Michael Holley discuss Aaron Rodgers' new contract, analyze whether Davante Adams will play on the franchise tag, and explain how Rodgers may have influence on Adams' plans for the upcoming season.

It took a few days, and it’s possible (if not likely) that the player insisted on a tweaking of the final numbers to make the initial reports wrong. Regardless, Packers quarterback Aaron Rodgers finally has a new contract.

In this item, we’ll break it all down. And then we’ll explain what it means.

NFL teams gained access to the information this morning. The contract was signed on March 14. Through sources who have examined the contract, here are the details.

1. 2022 roster bonus: $40.8 million, fully guaranteed.

2. 2022 base salary: $1.15 million, fully guaranteed.

3. 2023 base salary: $59.465 million, fully guaranteed.

4. 2024 base salary: $49.25 million, guaranteed for injury at signing, and fully guaranteed at the outset of the 2024 league year.

5. 2025 roster bonus: $5 million, due at the start of the league year.

6. 2025 base salary: $15.85 million.

7. 2026 roster bonus: $5 million, due at the start of the league year.

8. 2026 base salary: 10 million.

9. 2022-26 workout bonus: $50,000 annually.

The deal incorporates options in 2023 and 2024, which allow the Packers to prorate $58.3 million of his 2023 salary and $47 million of his 2024, if the team chooses. If the 2023 option is exercised, the 2025 season activates, at the $15.85 million base salary. If the 2024 option is exercised, the 2026 season kicks in, at a base of $10 million.

The contract pays out $123.84 million in new money through 2023, a new-money average of $61.9 million. It also includes a whopping $101.4 million fully guaranteed at signing. Rodgers is the first player to receive more than $100 million fully guaranteed at the signing of a contract.

He’ll earn $150.8 million over the next three years, also a record. The salaries plummet in 2025 and 2026. As a practical matter, he’ll never play under those terms. If he’s still with the Packers after 2024, a new deal will be negotiated.

The absence of a signing bonus means that Rodgers has the flexibility to retire, if he wants, after 2022 or 2023, with no financial penalty to him. By using a guaranteed roster bonus in 2022, the money gets paid out and earned this year, with no amount serving as advance payment for future services.

That said, it would be difficult for the Packers to trade him before June 1, 2023, given the cap ramifications.

Frankly, the chances of Rodgers leaving for another team at this point seem slim. He used the threat of a trade to get maximum concessions from the team. The current contract makes the balance of Jordan Love’s rookie deal irrelevant. That’s the closest thing Rodgers was ever going to get to an apology from the team for drafting Love as the player to force Rodgers out before he wanted to go.

And as financial apologies go, no player has ever done better over the next few years than Rodgers will do, if he keeps playing and doesn’t retire.