NFL players often suggest that they’d be willing to take less money for a shot at a Super Bowl ring, but players are also human — they often go where the cash is. But Aaron Rodgers actually decided to accept a discount by signing a new two-year, $75 million deal with the New York Jets on Wednesday.
Aaron Rodgers Agrees to New Contract With New York Jets
NFL Network was the first to report the details and structure of Rodgers’ new pact in New York. Rodgers’ contract technically runs for five years, which suggests that the Jets used void years — essentially dummy years tacked onto the end of a deal — in order to spread out Rodgers’ signing bonus proration to the maximum length.
Rodgers will receive a $35 million roster bonus in four days, according to NFLN. He’ll collect a base salary of roughly $1.8 million in 2023 before his salary increases to $38.1 million in 2024. Rodgers’ deal also includes a no-trade clause and a no-franchise tag clause.
Rodgers had $110 million in guaranteed money remaining on his contract when the Jets acquired him in April. Thus, he is saving New York $35 million over the next two seasons by accepting a below-market accord.
Rodgers’ 2023 cap charge will come in just below $9 million, per NFLN. That would be the 19th-highest figure among quarterbacks league-wide, placing Rodgers behind Trey Lance and ahead of Jacoby Brissett. Rodgers would have a lower cap hit than Zach Wilson, who will count for $9.6 million next year.
— trey wingo (@wingoz) July 26, 2023
A reworked contract was always part of the Jets’ agenda when they traded for Rodgers, but Gang Green was reportedly unaware of the exact details when they acquired the future Hall of Famer.
Rodgers had agreed to move his fully guaranteed $58.3 million option bonus from 2023 to 2024, giving him a clearly untenable $107.6 million cap number for 2024.
“We didn’t know the exact ramifications,” Jets general manager Joe Douglas told Pro Football Talk in May. “It was just important to us that the cap number wasn’t going to go higher than it was at the time that we agreed to it.
“We didn’t know that it was actually going to go down to the minimum, so when they redid the deal, you know, we saw the new number, knew that we saw that it was low for this year.”
For Rodgers, his willingness to take a steep pay cut only further signifies how much he wanted to join the Jets this offseason. For New York, the added cap space — especially in 2024 — should force Douglas and the rest of the club’s front office to be uber-aggressive in free agency.
With Rodgers committed to playing for at least two more seasons, the Jets are as “all-in” as any team in the NFL, and they should be expected to be major players in the 2024 free agent market.