Record extension for Packers, Aaron Rodgers could reach $180M total
GREEN BAY, Wis. -- Aaron Rodgers has signed an extension with the Green Bay Packers, general manager Brian Gutekunst announced Wednesday. The record-breaking four-year, $134 million extension could be worth up to $180 million in total money, a source told ESPN's Adam Schefter.
Rodgers, who will be 40 years old when the deal expires after the 2023 season, praised the Packers on Instagram for an "amazing ride" late Wednesday afternoon.
The extension includes nearly $103 million total in guarantees, another record amount, and has an annual average value of $33.5 million, according to Schefter.
The total maximum value of the deal is between $176 million and $180 million, based on $4 million in incentives tied to helping the Packers make the playoffs and finishing top three in quarterback rating, the source told Schefter.
An important feature of the deal for Rodgers was the cash flow in the first year, according to Schefter. Rodgers will receive $67 million by the end of the 2018 calendar year and an additional $13 million before March 17, 2019, according to Schefter.
The two sides had been working on this since before the combine in early March, when Gutekunst said he expected a deal to get done this offseason.
When Atlanta Falcons quarterback Matt Ryan signed an extension on May 3 that averaged $30 million per season, it cleared the way for the Packers to once again make Rodgers the highest-paid player in the NFL. That came after Jimmy Garoppolo's deal for $27.5 million a year with the 49ers in February and Kirk Cousins' $28 million a year deal with the Vikings in March.
When Rodgers signed his last contract -- a five-year, $110 million extension that included a $35 million signing bonus and a total of $54 million guaranteed -- he was at the top of the scale at $22 million per year. He surpassed Baltimore Ravens quarterback Joe Flacco, who at $20.1 million per season had been the highest paid player in the NFL.
Before this latest deal, he had slipped to ninth. He had two seasons left on that contract and was scheduled to make $20.9 million this season and $21.1 million in 2019.
Rodgers, 34, has said he would like to follow Patriots quarterback Tom Brady and play into his 40s. Rodgers is entering his 14th NFL season, but it's only his 11th as a starter after he sat behind Brett Favre for three seasons.
Rodgers said earlier this offseason: "I've said I'd love to finish my career here."
"Every player would love to be able to pick when and how they finish up," Rodgers said this offseason. "That usually doesn't happen, though. So I'm going to try to play as well as I can for a number of years, and hopefully it's here the entire time."
Rodgers has sustained two major injuries in the past five seasons -- a broken left clavicle in 2013 and a broken right clavicle last season. After the first one, he came back the next season and won his second NFL MVP.
The biggest question leading up to this point was how the Packers and Rodgers could structure a deal to ensure they remained as a Super Bowl contender.
"Like the last time, although it was large financial numbers, it was a deal that myself and the team was happy with," Rodgers said earlier this offseason. "It gave us the ability to do some things and made my camp number never go above an unmanageable level. So, obviously, I want to finish my career here. I've said that a number of times and still have two years left on my deal, so we'll see what happens this offseason."
Rodgers, who was selected by the Packers in the first round of the 2005 draft, has thrown for 38,502 yards and 313 touchdowns during his career. He also ranks No. 1 all-time in career passing rating (103.8), interception percentage (1.59) and touchdown-to-interception ratio (4.01).