The 2021 NFL free agency's start has overwhelmed our timelines with exciting trades and also some questionable ones (Chicago?). Still, the Green Bay Packers have been eerily quiet after their big surprise debut about re-signing Aaron Jones. It was difficult to believe that they could find enough room to bring back Jones.
If Green Bay is looking for more cap space, ESPN's Dan Graziano pointed out that one option is to restructure Aaron Rodgers' contract. This would give the team more money to spend this offseason and ensure that the franchise QB stays in Green Bay for the long haul. However, it would extinguish any chances 2020 draft pick Jordan Love has for taking over any time soon.
The Packers have already restructured contracts of David Bakhtiari, Preston Smith, Adrian Amos, and Za'Darius Smith, which was enough to get under the $182.5 million cap for re-signing Jones. In the process, the Packers did lose All-Pro center Corey Linsley to the Los Angeles Chargers.
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But they have been silent around Rodgers. This forces us to address the elephant in the room:
NFL Trade Rumors: Will Aaron Rodgers be traded before the 2021 deadline?
Many assumed that Rodgers might not represent the green and gold after the Packers drafted the young QB in the first round in last year's draft.
Rodgers, however, didn't let the draft or questions deter him. He won his third NFL MVP trophy and led Green Bay to their second straight NFC championship appearance.
After the defeat to the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, Rodgers publicly questioned his future with the Packers.
Assumptions were floating around, and people were wondering whether the quarterback wanted either a contract extension or the higher-ups to surround the QB with more talent that can take the franchise to the Super Bowl.
Once the season wrapped up, Rodgers made it clear that he wanted an extension that would guarantee his stay in Green Bay beyond 2023, forcing the franchise's hand on what to do with Love.
Rodgers' contract doesn't expire until 2024, and the Packers are theoretically into their last season of commitment to Rodgers. If the three-time NFL MVP gets traded next offseason, Green Bay will free up $22.6 million in cap space and have $17.2 million in dead money.
That brand of financial flexibility disappears with a contract restructure or extension, making it seem more likely that Rodgers' time with his team of 16 years could be nearing its end.
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