Aaron Rodgers Will Be Packers Starting Quarterback Next Two Seasons Unless He Gets Injured

Brian Giuffra
Aaron Rodgers at Lambeau Field.
Aaron Rodgers at Lambeau Field. / Quinn Harris/Getty Images
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Since the Packers traded up to select Jordan Love in the first round of the 2020 NFL Draft, there have been a bevy of hot takes, the steamiest of which include Aaron Rodgers demanding a trade from Green Bay. The logic is rooted in the Packers' decision to pick his heir apparent instead of getting someone who could help him -- like a second wide receiver opposite Davante Adams -- and Rodgers' assumed disappointment over that decision.

There's only one issue with this Rodgers-trade logic: It's completely illogical.

As dissected yesterday when Max Kellerman said Carson Wentz should demand a trade from the Eagles because they picked Jalen Hurts in the second round, there are some quarterbacks who have untradeable contracts because of the dead cap hit a team must absorb if they trade or cut them. Rodgers is another one of those quarterbacks. His contract is so tough to move, in fact, that he's basically assured to be the Packers starting quarterback through the 2021 season.

According to Spotrac, if the Packers trade Rodgers before June 1, they'll eat $51 million in dead cap space in 2020 and if they do it after June 1 they'll have $19.5 million of dead cap space in 2020 and $31.6 million in 2021. Next year, the numbers are $31.6 million pre-June 1 or $14.4 million in 2021 and $17.2 million in 2022 post-June 1. Either way, the Packers can't afford to trade or cut him based on those numbers.

After the 2021 season, there's an out in Rodgers' contract that would cost $17.2 million in dead cap space, which is much more palatable for any franchise looking to maximize their cap on players who are, you know, playing for them and not another team. That seems like the only realistic time the Packers and Rodgers would separate.

Meanwhile, in terms of the Packers' starting QB job, there's also the issue that Rodgers remains one of the best quarterbacks in the league and, according to virtually every NFL Draft analyst, Love is a developmental quarterback who will likely need at least a year to develop into a viable starter in the NFL. Put those two guys in a quarterback competition and, when healthy, Rodgers is going to win 10-out-of-10 times, even as he moves into his later 30s.

While it makes sense that Rodgers might be miffed at the Packers for not adding any wide receivers in this WR-heavy draft, and instead added a running back to a team that had two good ones last year, the fact is he's making over $50 million over the next two years and basically has a built-in no trade clause because of his contract. He'll make over $100 million by the time this contract is up and could conceivably get another payday like Tom Brady just got from Tampa Bay when/if he and the Packers divorce.

So go ahead and say Rodgers should demand a trade all you want and have fun telling everyone how mad Rodgers should be about the decisions the Packers made in the draft. The fact is both opinions are not based on reality or fact, but rather conjecture and assumption.

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