The news that New York Jets quarterback Aaron Rodgers suffered a torn Achilles Monday night means Rodgers’ 2023 season is over and raises real questions about the four-time MVP’s ability to ever play again.
More than a quarter of NFL players who tear their Achilles don’t play again, and very few of those who do are over 30. Rodgers turns 40 in December.
He didn’t know for sure that he wanted to play in 2023 before emerging from his darkness retreat.
So why would he want to go through a grueling rehab only to put himself at risk for yet another injury?
Because he gave up a ton of money to help the Jets afford him, and he’d potentially be giving up a ton more if he retired.
There is a fear that #Jets QB Aaron Rodgers is dealing with an Achilles injury, per sources. It’s currently unknown if it’s ruptured. He’s expected to have an MRI on Monday, per sources. pic.twitter.com/Hb4jO7iJNu
— Jordan Schultz (@Schultz_Report) September 12, 2023
How Aaron Rodgers Injury Might Not End His Career
Before we jump to the future, let’s go back to the past.
Rodgers entered the offseason owed roughly $110 million guaranteed by the Green Bay Packers. After the trade, he took a roughly $35 million pay cut when he signed a new extension.
“The team gave up significant pieces for it to just be a one-year deal,” Rodgers said shortly after signing the extension. “I’m aware of that. … Anything could happen with my body or the success we have this year, but I’m having a blast, so I really don’t see this as a one-year-and-done thing.”
Aaron Rodgers injury appears to be either Lisfranc foot injury, ankle sprain or possibly even Achilles. Similar mechanism to JK Dobbins injury Sunday.
Best case is ankle sprain. Will miss several weeks best case. pic.twitter.com/MQFjdPHxCX
— Dr. Mark Adickes (@jocktodoc) September 12, 2023
Could Monday’s injury change that?
Sure. But if so, he might have to give up even more than he already has.
When players retire, they not only forfeit future guarantees but they could also be forced to pay back a prorated portion of all bonuses already paid out.
In Rodgers’ case, that could mean missing out on more than $60 million more that he was due, meaning he would have passed on nearly all of what he was owed just six months ago.
Now, Rodgers has made more than a third of a billion dollars in his 19-year career. So he’s not exactly poor.
But we’re not talking about a small amount of cash, either.
“Zero chance,” one prominent agent told PFN when asked about the likelihood of Rodgers retiring after this season.
Here’s why: If Rodgers remains on the team’s active roster but cannot pass a physical, much, if not all, of his 2024 salary remains guaranteed. He can make tens of millions of dollars simply by rehabbing and then letting the Jets decide whether they want to cut him or not.
Then there’s this: Does Rodgers really want this to be the final image of him on an NFL field?
Peyton Manning in complete disbelief seeing Aaron Rodgers get on the cart.
"Holy… cow. I CANNOT believe this…" pic.twitter.com/rhnPY7LYYw
— Awful Announcing (@awfulannouncing) September 12, 2023
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