Aaron Rodgers unlikely to step down before July 2 deadline


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One of the most surprising stories of the slow first week of the NFL offseason came from the 2021 withdrawal rules. The deal between the league and the NFL Players Association gives Packers quarterback Aaron Rodgers the possibility of being absent for the entire coming season, without any financial obligation to the team for not playing this year.

His allocation of $ 11.5 million in signing bonus for this year would not be subject to forfeiture. His $ 6.8 million roster bonus, earned in March, would most likely still be paid out every week during the regular season, which would put him in a much better position than most players who actually play. Then, after the season, he would presumably be traded.

The problem, as a source with knowledge of the dynamics explained, is this: With a deadline of July 2 and an irrevocable decision, Rodgers won’t be ready to give up playing this year in just five days.

So what about the fact that, if he ultimately chooses to stay on the sidelines, he potentially loses $ 18.3 million, a figure that jumps to $ 20.3 million if you factor in daily fines for missing training camp? As the source explained, it is certain Rodgers will be able to avoid gambling without ever having to pay the Packers any money back.

While training camp fines cannot be waived, the Packers wouldn’t be able to easily withdraw those amounts from his play checks, if he ever gets another. And while the bonus payments of $ 6.8 million are owed to Rodgers on a weekly basis, they won’t pay that money if he’s not there.

Ultimately, the question is whether the Packers would get the $ 11.5 million signing bonus allowance and / or the $ 2 million in fines. Once again, Rodgers will never be forced to return a check to the Packers for sure.

One potential strategy comes from the possibility of retirement due to a football injury. The idea is that a pre-camp retreat extinguishes any rights the Packers would have to any kind of fine or forfeiture, and that it would even leave the team on the hook for the roster bonus of 6, $ 8 million. As the source said, it would be very easy for a 16-year-old veteran who has had multiple surgeries to retire citing an accumulation of wear and tear from gambling. Then, in 2022, he could simply retire. , explaining that the sabbatical year left him rejuvenated, healthy, etc.

That said, Rodgers did nothing to implement a potential “I’m just too messed up” excuse. It would be easy for him to spice up this state of mind through his rare appearances in the media. The closest he came to was during the interview for the upcoming golf game with Tom Brady, Phil Mickelson and Bryson DeChambeau, when Rodgers joked with Mickelson that the quarterback wanted to intimidate golfer with impressive calf muscles, but Rodgers’ Calf muscles don’t look so impressive after injuries.

Then there’s this simple fact: None of this is about money for Rodgers. If he doesn’t want to play, he won’t play. If that comes with a seven or eight figure expense, so be it.

At the end of the line ? The idea is that the withdrawal deadline is coming too quickly and its consequences are too permanent for Rodgers to take that route in 2021. So the beautiful mystery will continue until the end of July at the earliest, when Rodgers does. or not. show up to training camp – and when he eventually retires for a season before not retiring afterwards.

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