GREEN BAY, Wis. -- The Packers did not alter Aaron Rodgers' contract this past Friday, a source told ESPN, and they paid his $6.8 million roster bonus as is rather than converting it into a signing bonus, which would have freed up more than $4.5 million in salary-cap space for this season.
However, they would have pushed that money to future caps, therefore increasing what Rodgers would count as on their 2022 and 2023 years.
There had been questions about whether the Packers had paid the roster bonus or agreed to push it back as part of a restructure or extension negotiations.
"It vested Friday like it was scheduled to," the source said.
It's a sign that perhaps the Packers don't want to count any more dead money than they already would have to if they moved on from their three-time MVP quarterback after this season.
When asked whether a restructure or extension was still in the works, the source, who is familiar with the Packers' plans, said "possibly."
Rodgers openly speculated about his future in Green Bay after the NFC Championship Game loss to the Tampa Bay Buccaneers in January.
Shortly thereafter, Packers general manager Brian Gutekunst made it sound as if Rodgers is in their plans not only for 2021 but also beyond.
However, when asked whether Gutekunst felt the need to reassure Rodgers of that -- verbally or with an adjustment to his contract -- the GM said: "I don't think I have to do a lot of assuring him because I think obviously his play speaks for itself."
But Gutekunst drafted Rodgers' possible eventual replacement, Jordan Love, in the first round of last year's draft. Their contracts run concurrently, through the 2023 season, although the Packers would have the fifth-year option Love for 2024.
Multiple league sources said they believe Rodgers wants assurances that he will be Green Bay's quarterback beyond just the 2021 season and that he won't be a "lame-duck" quarterback. The team could do that by adjusting his contract without adding any money to it. The Packers could convert a large portion of his $14.7 million base salary into a signing bonus. That would give them additional cap space this season but also would increase the amount of dead money he would count on next year's cap if they moved on.