When Darrelle Revis signed a $96 million contract extension Sunday, John Parolin of ESPN Stats & Information circulated an e-mail that noted no NFL player has come close to making that much money from one contract. There have been plenty of contracts with initial value of $90 million and up, but in every case so far, the player has either retired or been released before having a chance to receive the contract's full value.
The closest anyone has come is former Green Bay Packers quarterback Brett Favre, who -- according to ESPN business analyst Andrew Brandt -- received $74.5 million of the $100 million deal he signed in 2001. (Ultimately Favre earned $102.5 million after signing the deal in 2001 when you add in the $28 million he received from the Minnesota Vikings in 2009 and '10.)
Parolin's e-mail got me thinking. (I know, it's rare.) The Packers have earned heaps of deserved praise for their rare success in transitioning from one Hall of Fame quarterback (Favre) to another who has put himself on pace for similar stature (Aaron Rodgers). Here's what made me mildly curious: How expensive of an accomplishment will that be, especially now that Rodgers is negotiating the richest contract in NFL history?
A few years ago, Brandt calculated Favre's total income from the Packers at $98.017 million. Using ESPN Stats & Information resources, I estimated Rodgers' earnings from 2005 through 2012 to be $61.3 million.
So from 1992 through 2012, the Packers paid their two starting quarterbacks about $159.3 million. Let's be conservative as possible and say Rodgers signs a five-year deal that averages $22 million. (Chances are it will be longer and more valuable.) That would add another $110 million to the bill.
So assuming Rodgers plays out his next deal and extends the Packers' run of Hall of Fame-caliber quarterbacking to 26 years, the total cost will be at least $269.3 million. If Rodgers gets a longer deal, say a $25 million average over six years, the total would exceed $300 million! Anyone want to buy some stock?