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New deal may give Aaron Rodgers the flexibility to retire, whenever he wants

After a year of uncertainty in Green Bay, Aaron Rodgers and the Packers have reportedly agreed to a massive four-year, $200 million contract extension.

As with every big-money contract, it’s impossible to trust the initial reports. The truth always resides in the details of the deal. (Already, the initial reports from Ian Rapoport and Pat McAfee conflict as to basic terms of the deal; it’s likely an “old money” vs. “new money” interpretation, we’re told.)

With the contract that Aaron Rodgers reportedly will be signing to stay with the Packers, there’s another factor to consider beyond signing bonus, cash flow, full guarantee at signing, etc. What flexibility will Rodgers have to retire after any given season, if he so chooses?

In many contracts, a major signing bonus ties the player to the team, unless the players is willing to pay back a large chunk of unearned compensation. In the Rodgers deal, it’s believed that the final structure may allow him to easily retire, whenever he wants.

The simplest approach would be to defer major chunks of the signing bonus to future years. If Rodgers retires, he simply doesn’t get the money. But, for cap purposes, he earns at on signing.

We’ll soon be getting the full details, and we’ll break them down once we do.