If Aaron Rodgers doesn't want to play for the Packers this year, he doesn't have to, but if he does decide to sit out, it's going to be an expensive decision that could cost him more than $35 million.
Rodgers has insisted that he's not going to play for the Packers this year and the Packers have insisted they're not going to trade him, which has created an impasse. The ongoing standoff between the two sides has already cost the quarterback $500,000 and that number could get bumped up to nearly $600,000 by the end of the week.
The reigning NFL MVP was a no-show for the first day of minicamp on Tuesday and since it's a mandatory practice, the Packers are allowed to fine him for missing it. If Rodgers skips all three days of minicamp, he'll get fined a total of $93,085. (The Packers could let him out of the fine by labeling his no-show as an excused absence.)
If he does get fined, that amount would be on top of the $500,000 that Rodgers lost out on when he didn't show up for the team's offseason training activities. The quarterback had a $500,000 bonus in his contract that he would have earned if he showed up for a certain percentage of OTAs, but he didn't earn the bonus because he skipped every single practice.
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The next event on the NFL calendar is training camp and things could get really expensive for Rodgers if he decides to skip that. Under the collective bargaining agreement, players can be fined $50,000 per day for not showing up to training camp. The Packers generally go to camp for about 35 days (they had 34 during their last normal training camp in 2019) and if he skipped every single one of those practices, that would cost him $1.75 million.
If things got so bad that Rodgers decided to sit out the entire season, it would get even more costly for the quarterback. Not only would he miss out on his $14.7 million base salary, but he'd also forfeit his $6.8 million roster bonus that was paid in March. The quarterback also would have $11.5 million in signing bonus money that the Packers could go after, and if he lost that, that would bring that total to $33 million for those three things alone.
If you combine the $33 million with the $1.75 million in training camp fines plus the unearned $500,000 OTA bonus plus the $93,085 in minicamp fines, that's $35,343,085 that Rodgers would lose out on.
If the Packers are going to play hard ball and refuse to trade their star quarterback, Rodgers is going to have to decide it sitting out the season is worth $35 million. Of course, Rodgers has made more than $240 million in his career -- not including endorsements -- so if he truly doesn't want to play for the Packers ever again, he's likely not going to let money factor into his decision.