Aaron Rodgers might not desire to be the highest-paid player in league history, but he certainly wouldn't mind being the NFL's top earner for 2022 should he return to the Packers. It appears that would be the case should Rodgers return to Green Bay next season, as the two sides are currently working on a short-term deal that would make Rodgers the league's highest-paid player, according to NFL Network's Ian Rapoport.
The contract talks are obviously contingent on Rodgers returning to the Packers in 2022. As of now, the league's reigning two-time MVP has not made a decision on whether he will play for the Packers, elsewhere or anywhere next season. Should Rodgers decide that he wants to continue his career in a new city, that would require the Packers' assistance given that the 38-year-old quarterback is still under contract.
Rodgers recently denied reports stating that he desires to become the highest-paid player in league history. He may, however, desire to be the highest-paid player for the upcoming season. That would mean that he would have to be paid at least $45 million to match Chiefs quarterback Patrick Mahomes' current annual salary. While that type of money isn't cap friendly, it certainly isn't out of line for the NFL's best player to ask to be paid as such.
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The futures of both Rodgers and All-Pro receiver Davante Adams (who is no longer under contract) were recently addressed by Green Bay general manager Brian Gutekunst. A day after Rodgers said that he has had positive meetings with the Packers' brass, Gutekunst said that he is "very confident" that the Packers will be able to field a competitive team should Rodgers and Adams return despite the team's current salary cap issues.
Green Bay, which is currently north of $40 million over the cap, cleared $10.8 million in cap space last week after they restructured defensive lineman Kenny Clark's contract. The Packers then saved an additional $3 million after running back Aaron Jones agreed to a contract restructure.
Rodgers said last week on The Pat McAfee Show that, while he does not have a timetable on his decision for next season, he hopes it will be a swift process between him and the Packers' organization. It's assumed that a decision will be made between now and March 16, the start of the new league year.
"I am looking forward to making the decision and moving forward. I think it's best for me, it's best for the team, and it's best for all parties involved to get this behind us," Rodgers said. "There's conversations to be had and a few more things to contemplate, but it won't be long. I'm not going to hold anyone hostage in this. I'm not going to do that. Obviously, I want to feel assertive about it and when I do I'll make a decision and we'll move on and move forward."