Jets, Aaron Rodgers still haven’t tweaked contract
Despite his obvious, lingering grievances with the Packers, Jets quarterback Aaron Rodgers did his former team a solid on the way out the door, agreeing to push the entirety of his $58.3 million fully-guaranteed option bonus to 2024.
That was news to the Jets, who have to figure out with Rodgers how much of the $58.3 million will return to 2023, and how it will be structured for cap purposes.
Nearly a month ago, Jets G.M. Joe Douglas told #PFTPM that the two sides were working on the revised deal. It still hasn’t happened.
Via Rich Cimini of ESPN.com, the Jets have cleared $45.2 million in salary-cap space this offseason, leaving them with $24.5 million to spend.
As originally negotiated, the $58.3 million was scheduled to be converted to a guaranteed payment, dropping the cap charge to $14.575 million this year.
With a total of $107.55 million over the next two years due and payable to Rodgers, the final structure of the contract could shed considerable light on whether he’s all in for the next two years.
Maybe he’s simply evaluating his options. Maybe, at some level, he enjoys the extra little bit of power implicit in this unresolved issue -- especially since there have been suggestions that, as part of the new contract, he might take less than he’s due to make.
The Jets were ready to take the contract as it was. They now hold a contract that has Rodgers on the books for only the minimum salary in 2023.
Ultimately, Rodgers will get whatever Rodgers wants, within reason. He won’t want more money than he was due to make. The possibility that he might want less is a great way to ensure that the honeymoon period, from the team’s perspective, lasts through the offseason program, and maybe into training camp.
The possibility that the final deal will make it clear that he’s willing to play for the Jets in 2024 could require a little ayahuasca and/or a lot of no light in the six weeks between OTAs and training camp.
Ultimately, the revised deal could get Rodgers a few concessions, if he’s willing to take a little less than $107.55 million over the next two years. For example, no more medicine balls or sled pulling during pre-practice conditioning -- something Rodgers had never done in 18 years in Green Bay and that tweaked his calf when he did it last month.
Or whatever else he might want, based on his initial weeks in the building. He’s in position to do the team a huge favor. What’s wrong with subtly asking for a favor or two in return?