Green Bay Packers quarterback Aaron Rodgers (12) warms up before the Green Bay Packers divisional playoff game against the San Francisco 49ers at Lambeau Field in Green Bay on Saturday, Jan. 22, 2022.

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Packers sign QB Aaron Rodgers to $150M deal, lowers ’22 cap figure $18M

Aaron Rodgers signed the dotted line and made his return to the Green Bay Packers official on Tuesday with a three-year, $150 million contract that lowers his salary cap figure $18 million.

Rodgers reportedly took less money than the Packers offered in hopes of making it possible for Green Bay to retain more talent.

Rodgers can exit the deal at the end of each season, but the salary cap ramifications for the Packers would be dire. His dead cap hit for 2023, for example, would be $62 million.

His new deal pays $41 million in 2022, $59 million in 2023 and $49 million in the third and final year of the deal. The 2023 contract is built largely around a $58.3 million option bonus, which puts the Packers in position to reshape the contract and push future cap hits down the road.

Patrick Mahomes of the Kansas City Chiefs makes $45 million annually.

For Rodgers, who termed his future with the team a “beautiful mystery” in 2021, it also sets up a dramatic decision date every offseason until the deal is done.

The Packers and Rodgers are mending fences following a year of acrimony based at least in part on the team’s decision to select quarterback Jordan Love in the first round of the 2020 NFL Draft.

Rodgers said trust and loyalty issues with general manager Brian Gutekunst developed as veterans were either traded or allowed to leave.

Those charges helped open dialogue between the Packers’ front office, Gutekunst included, and Rodgers last season. The Packers acquiesced by trading for Rodgers’ friend and former teammate Randall Cobb prior to last season. When offensive coordinator Nathaniel Hackett was hired as head coach of the Denver Broncos in the offseason, Packers head coach Matt LaFleur involved Rodgers in seeking his replacement.

The resulting hire was Tom Clements, with whom Rodgers has worked in Green Bay previously.

One massive question left for the Packers to settle surrounds All-Pro wide receiver Davante Adams. With $40-plus million committed to Rodgers and two starting linebackers re-signed Tuesday, there is not enough in the coffers to appears Adams.

He’s not going anywhere — yet — because the Packers used the franchise tag to retain him at over $20 million in salary for 2022.

Adams reportedly informed the team he won’t play on the franchise tag, which will invite trade rumors and concerns he’ll hold out, leaving Rodgers with little to work with at the position.

–Field Level Media

Green Bay Packers head coach Matt LaFleur talks with quarterback Aaron Rodgers (12) in a time out during their NFL divisional round football playoff game Saturday January 22, 2022, at Lambeau Field in Green Bay, Wis.

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Clock ticking for QB Aaron Rodgers, Packers still on hold

Aaron Rodgers planned to decide whether to stay with the Green Bay Packers by the end of February. Eight days later, the reigning NFL MVP remains in limbo.

Rodgers also said in January following a home playoff loss to the San Francisco 49ers that he would make a decision on his future before the franchise tag deadline, which is Tuesday at 4 p.m. ET.

The quarterback officiated the wedding of teammate David Bakhtiari over the weekend as the clock ticked for the Packers, Rodgers and wide receiver Davante Adams. Adams is expected to be designated the team’s franchise player for 2022 while the Packers sort out a messy salary cap situation.

On Monday, ESPN reported Rodgers received a new contract offer from the Packers that would “reset the QB market,” implying an annual salary exceeding the $45 million per season the Kansas City Chiefs pay Patrick Mahomes.

Rodgers, 38, was named MVP in February, claiming the honor for the second consecutive season.

Rodgers and the Packers mapped this climactic decision day as a step forward last offseason, when the level of acrimony between general manager Brian Gutekunst and Rodgers became apparent before the 2021 draft.

Gutekunst said in February the team placed “no deadlines” on Rodgers and would work to build a roster ready to compete for a Super Bowl. Gutekunst said the Packers “absolutely” want Rodgers back for his 18th season with the franchise.

In a May 2021 interview, Rodgers openly questioned the franchise’s loyalty, confessed he was bothered by the team drafting quarterback Jordan Love in the first round in 2020 when the roster had other needs, and came clean about his disdain for decisions to let veterans leave in free agency.

But a restructured contract and the idea that the 2021 season was set up as a potential “last dance” helped Rodgers and the front office find improved harmony. He has heavily involved in discussions about personnel, including the Packers trading for wide receiver Randall Cobb, and when offensive coordinator Nathaniel Hackett became head coach of the Denver Broncos, Gutekunst and Green Bay head coach Matt LaFleur looped in Rodgers on the call to hire Tom Clements as the quarterbacks coach.

Among teams reportedly waiting on a Rodgers decision with trade offers are the Denver Broncos, Pittsburgh Steelers and Tampa Bay Buccaneers.

–Field Level Media

A fan holds a sign about Green Bay Packers quarterback Aaron Rodgers during the first quarter of their game Sunday, November 14, 2021 at Lambeau Field in Green Bay, Wis. There were few signs regarding Rodgers. The Green Bay Packers beat the Seattle Seahawks 17-0.

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Packers GM: Not one trade offer for Aaron Rodgers

Green Bay Packers general manager Brian Gutekunst said Tuesday that he hasn’t received a single call or text from any of his peers about a trade for quarterback Aaron Rodgers.

“Not at all,” Gutekunst told ESPN from the scouting combine in Indianapolis. “Not at all. Not a single person.”

That would rebut a separate ESPN report last week that said the Packers had multiple trade offers on the table.

Of course, the point could be moot since Rodgers has yet to inform the Packers of whether he’ll retire or play in 2022 — and if it’s the latter, whether he wants to remain in Green Bay or be traded.

Rodgers has previously said he’ll make his decision ahead of the beginning of free agency, which begins March 16.

“I would hope so, yeah,” Gutekunst said. “That’s obviously the start of the new league year. There’s a lot of decisions that have to be made before that. So, that would be helpful. I would think we would know something before then.”

NFL Network reported Monday that the Packers are preparing to make Rodgers a short-term offer that would make him the highest paid player in the NFL if he decides to return in 2022. Rodgers reportedly wants to be paid in the ballpark of $50 million per season, more than the $45 million annual salary than Chiefs quarterback Patrick Mahomes.

In the meantime, the Packers continue to attack their biggest enemy at the moment — the salary cap. They began the offseason nearly $50 million over the cap, second worst in the league. They’re down to $27.5 million over, per ESPN, after reworking contracts of several players to date.

Whatever Rodgers decides will ease the team’s salary cap woes. If he retires, the team saves anywhere from $19.3 million to $26.9 million. If he returns to the Packers for 2022, an extension would significantly reduce his current $46.1 million cap hit for this season.

–Field Level Media

Jan 9, 2022; Detroit, Michigan, USA; Green Bay Packers quarterback Aaron Rodgers (12) walks onto the field with a smile before the game against the Detroit Lions at Ford Field. Mandatory Credit: Raj Mehta-USA TODAY Sports

Report: Aaron Rodgers to give Packers his decision ‘soon’

Multiple teams have trade offers on the table for Green Bay quarterback Aaron Rodgers, ESPN reported Thursday.

The report says Rodgers will be informing the Packers “soon” of his decision, presumably about whether to retire, remain with the team or seek an opportunity elsewhere.

Rodgers sent Green Bay and the NFL-watching world into a tizzy with an Instagram post Monday in which he heaped gratitude on teammates and coaches and spoke partially in the past tense. But Rodgers said Tuesday in an interview with Pat McAfee that he had no final answers on his future yet.

Rodgers, 38, won his fourth MVP award in 2021, passing for 4,115 passing yards with 37 touchdowns and four interceptions in 16 starts.

However, the top-seeded Packers (13-4) lost their playoff opener at home to the San Francisco 49ers, kicking off another offseason of speculation about Rodgers’ future with the franchise.

–Field Level Media

Green Bay Packers quarterback Aaron Rodgers (12) celebrates with wide receiver Davante Adams (17) after scoring a touchdown in the second quarter during their football game Saturday, December 25, 2021, at Lambeau Field in Green Bay, Wis. The touchdown Adams ahead of Jordy Nelsons for touchdown receptions from Rodgers.Dan Powers/USA TODAY NETWORK-Wisconsin

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Packers GM: No deadlines, working closely with Aaron Rodgers

Brian Gutekunst has a goal and his preferred outcome begins with a commitment from 2021 NFL MVP Aaron Rodgers to play for the Packers next season.

But the process in Green Bay might not play out on the general manager’s ideal schedule. Because Gutekunst and head coach Matt LaFleur want to understand Rodgers’ plans before making other moves, Gutekunst said Wednesday at a scheduled press conference there are “no deadlines” where Rodgers is involved.

This means that as of Wednesday, the Packers are in much the same position they were after the loss to the San Francisco 49ers in the playoffs: waiting for the Rodgers domino to fall.

“This has been more of a conversation about where we’re headed together. This is a process we’re going through, and a process he’s going through,” Gutekunst said.

“We’ve had really good conversations with Aaron.”

The layered offseason for the Packers is fraught with variables and salary-cap concerns. Rodgers could still retire or ask for a trade, a determination he said Tuesday he hasn’t yet made. He could also return to the team, or indicate he’ll come back only if the Packers address his contract.

All of the “hypotheticals” have Gutekunst working on a matrix of if-then scenarios that would dramatically alter the direction of the Packers — at least in the short term.

Gutekunst said the Packers are also hopeful unrestricted free agent Davante Adams is with the organization going forward. When asked about using the franchise tag to retain Adams at more than $18 million for 2022, Gutekunst said he’d prefer to reach a long-term deal that works for both sides.

Getting that done might be even more improbable than keeping Rodgers content given Adams position that he wants to be the highest-paid wide receiver in the NFL. DeAndre Hopkins of the Arizona Cardinals had the highest wideout salary of $27.25 million in 2021.

The Packers are well over the projected salary cap of $208 million for 2022, even after restructuring the contract of nose tackle Kenny Clark on Wednesday.

Gutekunst professed he is “very confident” the Packers are in position to “compete for championships” with Rodgers and Adams. He said retaining the high-priced playmakers would not prevent the Packers from being competitive, or kick-start a fire sale.

That includes one valuable backup on the roster — Rodgers understudy Jordan Love, a first-rounder in 2020.

“I would be very doutbful to take any of those calls,” Gutekunst said of any trade offers for Love.

Rodgers sent Green Bay and the NFL-watching world into a tizzy with an Instagram post in which he heaped gratitude on Adams and wide receiver Randall Cobb and spoke partially in past tense. But Rodgers said Tuesday in an interview with Pat McAfee that he had no final answers on his future yet.

Gutekunst continues to nurture the relationship with Rodgers, agitated by the Love draft pick and exacerbated by what Rodgers said in 2021 was disrespect from the GM.

In the most recent example of giving his quarterback a voice, he said the franchise welcomed Rodgers’ input on hiring quarterbacks coach Tom Clements for another tour of duty in Green Bay.

Asked to measure the worst possible outcome of losing Rodgers and Adams, Gutekunst said the Packers would still compete.

“We’re going to field a competitive team regardless. We’re the Green Bay Packers,” Gutekunst said. “We may have to do things different ways if those hypotheticals come into play.”

–Field Level Media

Green Bay Packers quarterback Aaron Rodgers (12) following the Packers' victory over the Chicago Bears during their football game on Sunday, Dec. 12, 2021, at Lambeau Field in Green Bay, Wis.

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Aaron Rodgers expresses thanks, gratitude in cryptic post

Aaron Rodgers provided potential clues about his future plans in a lengthy social media post Monday night.

The Green Bay quarterback expressed his “Monday Night Gratitude” to his ex-fiancee, actress Shailene Woodley, and his “past and current” Packers teammates on Instagram.

Rodgers, 38, and Woodley reportedly broke off their engagement last week, and there is speculation the four-time NFL MVP could break up with the Packers, too, after 17 seasons together.

In his post, Rodgers specifically thanked fellow Green Bay quarterbacks Jordan Love and Kurt Benkert, Packers head coach Matt LaFleur, former offensive coordinator Nathaniel Hackett, former quarterbacks coach Luke Getsy, wide receiver Randall Cobb and offensive tackle David Bakhtiari.

“To my teammates, past and current, you are the icing on the beautiful cake we call our job; football,” Rodgers wrote, in part. “The friendships that we have will transcend our collective time in this game and I am so thankful for the role that each of you have played in making my life that much better. I love you guys, and cherish the memories we’ve made.”

Rodgers won his fourth MVP award in 2021, passing for 4,115 passing yards, 37 touchdowns and four interceptions in 16 starts.

However, the top-seeded Packers (13-4) lost their playoff opener at home to the San Francisco 49ers, kicking off another offseason of speculation about Rodgers’ future with the franchise.

Appearing on the “Pat McAfee Show” after the divisional playoff loss, Rodgers said “everything is definitely on the table,” including retirement, relocation or a return to Green Bay.

–Field Level Media

Cardinals passing game coordinator and quarterbacks coach Tom Clements talks to reporters during a news conference on Feb. 13.

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Tom Clements returns to Green Bay as QBs coach

Aaron Rodgers’ former position coach is returning to Green Bay.

Packers coach Matt LaFleur announced Friday that he hired Tom Clements as quarterbacks coach. Clements spent 11 of his 22 seasons as an NFL assistant with the Packers, serving as quarterbacks coach (2006-11), offensive coordinator (2012-14) and associate head coach/offense (2015-16).

Most recently, he spent two seasons (2019-20) working with Kyler Murray and the Arizona Cardinals as pass game coordinator/quarterbacks coach.

During Clements’ time in Green Bay, the Packers finished in the top 10 in the NFL in scoring offense and total offense nine times. With Clements on staff, Rodgers was named the league’s MVP twice, and became the first quarterback in NFL history to have a 100-plus rating in six consecutive seasons (2009-14).

Clements also has been the quarterbacks coach of the New Orleans Saints (1997-99), Kansas City Chiefs (2000) and Pittsburgh Steelers (2001-03) and served as the offensive coordinator for the Buffalo Bills (2004-05).

Clements was a star player at Notre Dame and was the quarterback of the school’s 1973 national championship team.

Rodgers won the MVP award for the fourth time in 2021 and hasn’t said whether he plans to retire, return to the Packers or seek to be shipped to another team. The Denver Broncos have been mentioned as a potential destination since the hiring of Nathaniel Hackett — Green Bay’s former offensive coordinator — as head coach.

–Field Level Media

Green Bay Packers quarterback Aaron Rodgers (12) leaves the field after a 13-10 loss against the San Francisco 49ers during their NFL divisional round football playoff game Saturday January 22, 2022, at Lambeau Field in Green Bay, Wis. Dan Powers/USA TODAY NETWORK-Wisconsin

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Aaron Rodgers hints at decision by franchise tag window

Green Bay Packers quarterback Aaron Rodgers said Tuesday that he might move up his decision to coincide with the window for franchise tag tenders.

Rodgers originally said he’d decide about his future ahead of free agency, which begins March 16. On Tuesday, Rodgers intimated that he could announce his decision even sooner out of deference to teammate and two-time All-Pro wide receiver Davante Adams.

Adams is a candidate to get hit with the tag. Adams has said publicly he wants to be the NFL’s highest-paid wide receiver and said last year there will be no hometown discount to stay in Green Bay.

Teams can begin tendering the tag as soon as Feb. 22. March 8 is the deadline.

“I’d like to be respectful of the organization,” Rodgers said on “The Pat McAfee Show.” “One decision that will be upcoming will be obviously Davante and his future with the team. There still is this thing called a franchise tag, which I don’t think ’17’ wants the franchise.

“I think that should be enough time to make a decision by then. I don’t want to put myself on a specific date, but I do want to be sensitive to Davante and many other guys who have decisions to make on their own futures,” he said.

The Packers are projected to be $44.8 million over the 2022 salary cap. To keep Rodgers, the Packers would need to sign him to a long-term extension. His cap charge in 2022 is $46 million.

Packers head coach Matt LaFleur made it very clear Monday that the team wants their 17-year veteran to return for 2022.

Rodgers said his decision will be steeped in “intuition and a lot of feel.”

“I think it’s just a trust that I’ll know exactly what to do,” Rodgers said on the show. “Once you make a decision, that’s the decision and you move forward. Until you get to that certainty, you don’t make a decision. There also is a timeframe for this because I understand that my decision does impact a number of other people’s decisions. I want to be very sensitive to that, so I’ll definitely make a decision sooner rather than later.”

–Field Level Media

Jan 22, 2022; Green Bay, Wisconsin, USA; Green Bay Packers quarterback Aaron Rodgers (12) reacts while leaving the field after an NFC Divisional playoff football game against the San Francisco 49ers at Lambeau Field. Mandatory Credit: Jeff Hanisch-USA TODAY Sports

Packers’ Matt LaFleur: ‘No debate’ on wanting Aaron Rodgers back

An offseason of unknowns has begun for the Green Bay Packers, especially with regard to whether or not future Hall of Fame quarterback Aaron Rodgers will remain with the team next season or retire.

As opposed to the controversial offseason of a year ago when a disgruntled Rodgers and his only NFL employer seemed destined for a split, Packers head coach Matt LaFleur made it very clear Monday that the team wants their 17-year veteran to return for 2022.

“Every conversation that I’ve been involved in with Gutey (general manager Brian Gutekunst) and Russ (director of football operations Russ Ball) and Mark (president Mark Murphy), we’re all on the same page there,” LaFleur said Monday. “There’s no debate.”

Speaking to the media on the heels of Green Bay’s stunning 13-10 upset loss Saturday against the San Francisco 49ers, LaFleur said he met with his quarterback Monday and while a decision was far off, there was no question the Packers organization hopes for a return.

“I sat down and talked to Aaron today for quite some time,” LaFleur said. “I think we’re all a little numb to the situation right now and, so, I would say that what we talked about, I’m definitely gonna keep between him and myself, but we’re hopeful that he’ll be back next year, obviously.

“This guy has done so much for such a long period of time for this organization, for this city, for this team, and so I want to be respectful of his process. Whatever he needs to go through to make the best decision for himself, and, certainly, we would love for him to be a Packer and be a Packer until the day he decides to retire.”

The Packers, who lost a playoff game as the NFC’s top seed for the second year in a row, must quickly pick up the pieces after becoming the first team in NFL history to win 13 or more games in three straight seasons without advancing to the Super Bowl.

The 38-year-old Rodgers did not disappoint this season, throwing for two or more touchdown passes in 15 of his 17 games and tossing up elite numbers (4,115 passing yards, 37 touchdown passes, four interceptions) for what may turn out to be the fourth MVP season of his career.

But he admitted after an ordinary Saturday winter night against the Niners (20-for-29, 225 yards) at Lambeau Field that while he will not drag out a decision about his future past the start of free agency on March 16, he also doesn’t plan to stick around if the team decides to start from scratch.

“I don’t want to be part of a rebuild if I’m going to keep playing, so (there will be) a lot of decisions in the next couple months,” Rodgers said of the Packers.

The Packers are projected to be $44.8 million over the 2022 salary cap and other major decisions share the front burner with the Rodgers outcome. Wide receiver Davante Adams has said publicly he wants to be the NFL’s highest-paid wide receiver and said last year there will be no hometown discount to stay in Green Bay.

To keep Rodgers, the Packers would need to sign him to a long-term extension. His cap charge in 2022 is $46 million, negotiated intentionally by Rodgers last offseason when his disdain for the front office came to light.

The mood has since shifted. If it’s up to his head coach, there is no decision from the Green Bay standpoint as LaFleur said he wants the Packers to do “everything in our power to try to get him back here and making sure he’s comfortable with the direction of our football team.”

“There’s no plan for a rebuild,” said LaFleur. “You get this close, obviously win a lot of football games, and we know in order for there not to be that, he’s gotta be a part of this thing. I don’t think that’s anybody’s intention.”

–Field Level Media

Jan 9, 2022; Detroit, Michigan, USA; Green Bay Packers quarterback Aaron Rodgers (12) runs the ball during the first quarter against the Detroit Lions at Ford Field. Mandatory Credit: Raj Mehta-USA TODAY Sports

Packers QB Aaron Rodgers says toe is ‘close to 100 percent’

Having secured the top seed in the NFC playoffs, the Green Bay Packers have the week off from playing football. That’s especially good news for quarterback Aaron Rodgers, who has battled a toe injury throughout the last few weeks of the NFL season.

Rodgers fractured his pinkie toe in early November, but told reporters Wednesday that the toe is “close to 100 percent” healthy and that he’s “feeling good.”

“But, (I) think I should be 100 percent by next week,” he added.

Rodgers had been getting pain-killing injections in the toe regularly before games, but said Wednesday that he hasn’t needed one recently.

“I haven’t taken one in a number of weeks now, so that’s been the most encouraging thing,” Rodgers said. “Got through last week without doing one. It was just a pretty standard shot in the toe, very painful, a numbing agent. That helped get me through the games. The whole goal was to be able to not have to do that. It’s been a few games without doing that.”

Rodgers played in only the first half of the Packers’ regular season finale on Sunday, a 37-30 loss to the Detroit Lions. Despite the defeat, Green Bay remained at the top of the NFC with a 13-4 record, securing a first-round bye and homefield advantage throughout the playoffs.

Rodgers, 38, completed 68.9 percent of his passes this season for 4,115 yards and 37 touchdowns. He was intercepted four times and he has a solid chance of winning NFL MVP honors for the second straight season.

–Field Level Media