11:25 AM ET
The Green Bay Packers are prepared to go all in for 2022 to entice Aaron Rodgers to return to the team next season, spending as close to the cap this year and spreading it into future years as much as possible, sources told ESPN’s Adam Schefter.
It’s an approach that was used by the New Orleans Saints before quarterback Drew Brees retired.
Rodgers, who won his second consecutive MVP Award (and fourth overall) this week, said Thursday that the animosity he felt toward the organization at this time last year is gone.
Rodgers, 38, said he would decide what he wants to do in 2022, “in the near future, and I’m not gonna keep a lot of people waiting.”
In the rest of his post-awards news conference, he seemingly laid out the cases for just about every possible scenario — although he appeared to downplay the idea of playing for another team when he corrected himself after first mentioning what the best “place” for him would be.
“I think you’ve got to take some of the emotion out of it and then kind of lean into understanding what it takes to revamp and feel like what’s the best place,” Rodgers said, stopping himself briefly. “The best decision for me moving forward — not really place — more just what does it feel like to commit to a season if that’s what I want to do? The good thing is I still feel like my body is in a good place.”
He previously had hinted on The Pat McAfee Show that he’d like to make his decision by the March 8 franchise tender deadline when the Packers need to decide whether to use the tag on star wide receiver Davante Adams.
Rodgers has one year remaining on his contract with the Packers, who are facing significant salary-cap problems this offseason. The Packers are currently $48,910,955 over their projected cap for the 2022 season, according to ESPN Stats & Information. Nine teams are over the cap, but only the Saints are worse off at $74,174,019 over their cap.
Rodgers expressed his concerns after the season about the Packers being in a rebuilding mode, something he said wants no part of. Coach Matt LaFleur countered by saying he believes the team can reload for another run at a Super Bowl.
“Absolutely there’s a plan in place,” LaFleur said at season’s end. “There’s ways to, I don’t want to say manipulate, but there’s ways to move money and to make sure that we get the bulk of our key contributors back.”
ESPN’s Rob Demovsky contributed to this report.
Source: ESPN NFL