-0-“Green Bay…Green Backs…Aaron Rodgers”
The waiting game now officially begins between the Packers and their future Hall of Fame QB-Aaron Rodgers.
Or maybe it is the staredown game to see who is right, who is wrong, and who is the real power broker with the legendary team.
Rodgers last weekend criticized the leadership of the team for not respecting him as the on the field leader, when it came time for players decisions. He wanted to be kept in the loop.
The day before the draft, stories leaked that Rodgers wanted to be dealt.
Teams across the league had salary cap issues. The Packers, who spent months trying to resolve the issues with the QB, refused to cave in.
And Green Bay knew they would take a 31M-salary cap hit if they traded Rodgers.
Now it’s June 3rd, and the new business year has kicked in. If the Packers wanted to trade him, the cap hit would be 13M. In addition, if he is to be traded, Rodgers would have to pay back enormous amounts of money because he still has (3Y-66M) left on his deal. He would have to give back some signing bonus, forefeit salaries, roster bonuses and workout payoffs.
Waiting for someone to ‘blink’ first in this stare down.
Who knows where it goes, but here’s a breakdown of the story and the financial implications.
The financial penalties commence with mandatory minicamp. Per page 249 of the labor deal, the Packers can fine Rodgers $93,085 for missing all three days of the camp. Then, if he skips training camp, the Packers will fine him $50,000 per day. Under the 2020 CBA, the daily fines for missing training camp are mandatory and cannot be waived.
If Rodgers sits out all of 2021, he’ll lose his $14.7 million salary. The Packers also will be able to recover $11.5 million in unearned signing bonus money and Rodgers’ $6.8 million roster bonus, which was earned earlier this year and (per a source with knowledge of the situation) will be paid out with his game checks.
Assuming 40 days of camp, that’s a total financial penalty for Rodgers of more than $35 million if he doesn’t play this year — along with a lost opportunity to play football in one of his remaining years of high-level athletic ability. Which helps explain why the Packers don’t believe he won’t show up.
Thus, the privilege of skipping all of 2021 costs more than $35 million and one full season of adding to Rodgers’ legacy. That’s a huge price to pay. And it helps explain why the Packers don’t believe Rodgers will stay away for all of the 2021 season.
Rodgers could avoid roughly $2 million in fines by retiring before the start of training camp. He’d still lose $33 million by not playing this year. That’s money that will never be replaced, unless he convinces himself that he’ll be able to play year deeper into his forties by not playing this year.
The Packers remain unconvinced. Which is one of the reasons why the Packers aren’t looking to give Rodgers what he wants. The Packers seem to believe (and for good reason) that he won’t give up what he needs — playing football and getting paid handsomely for it.