It was only a matter of time, but the Green Bay Packers doubled down on their most important investment.
On Wednesday, general manager Brian Gutekunst announced that the Packers and quarterback Aaron Rodgers have agreed to the richest extension in NFL history.
According to ESPN’s Adam Schefter, Rodgers signed a record-breaking four-year, $134 million extension that includes nearly $103 million in guarantees and has an annual average value of $33.5 million.
Reports state that Rodgers will receive a $57.5 million signing bonus, and Green Bay will pay Rodgers a total of $80 million by March 2019. In addition, if he stays for the entirety of his contract (which ends in 2023), Rodgers could potentially receive near $180 million in total cash.
Rodgers, 34, was selected by the Packers in the first round of the 2005 draft. In his career, Rodgers has thrown for 38,502 yards with 313 touchdowns. He is first all-time in career passing rating (103.8), interception percentage (1.59) and touchdown-to-interception ratio (4.01).
The Packers quarterback is one of two active in the position (Tom Brady being the other) with multiple MVP awards and multiple first-team All-Pro selections.
Rodgers also has been selected to six Pro Bowls in his 14-year career, winning the Super Bowl in 2010 and taking home the game’s MVP award. He is one of eight active quarterbacks to win a Super Bowl.
Equally as impressive, he’s the second-most productive quarterback in Packers history behind Hall-of-Famer Brett Favre, holding a 94-48 overall record as a starter.
Rodgers thanked the Packers on Instagram for an “amazing ride” late Wednesday afternoon following the signing.
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It’s been an amazing ride the last 13 years; excited to start year 14 knowing that my future is here, in Green Bay, for our 100th season. I’ve grown up in this place, and grown older and a little wiser along the way. Thank you to our incredible fan base for inspiring us players to be better year after year. Thank you to the Packers organization for standing by me time and time again and giving me the opportunity to lead this football team. And thank you to my teammates along the way, past and present who have impacted my life in so many positive ways, giving me friendships for life. Looking forward to making some more memorable moments this year, and for years to come…. #packers100thseason #packersfamily #packerforlife #midrange
You normally pay quarterbacks or star players this kind of money when you understand your production, chemistry, and value with and without them.
When many felt that Brett Farve had a couple of good years left in him, many couldn’t understand why you’d give up a guy who you knew what you were getting with him, for a guy who you didn’t know at the time what you’d get.
However, the Packers post-Favre are 94-46 and average 27.7 points per game when Rodgers is healthy. When he doesn’t play, the team is 6-13-1 and average 20.5 points.
Legacy wise, people will throw out that Rodgers has won only one super bowl in his career. So, many will knock him for getting this contract.
However, you have to remember that Rodgers has had two major injuries in his career. And even with those injuries, Rodgers has still been the Packers’ best player.
The Packers have understood that with Rodgers in the lineup, they’ve had possibly a top-three quarterback and he has given them the best chance to win a Super Bowl when he suits up.
Rodgers has been consistent when healthy and his numbers show that he has been a talent that has given the league problems in his 11 years as a starter. With this contract, the Packers did right by their man and gave a potential top-10 all-time quarterback top money.
Rodgers said earlier this offseason he wanted to be a Packer for life.
“I’ve said I’d love to finish my career here,” Rodgers said.
With this contract, the Packers allow Rodgers to do that.