GREEN BAY (WFRV) – As “Aaron Rodgers Watch” enters a new month on the calendar, June 1 represents a significant date as far as the feasibility of a trade.
When news first broke that Rodgers wanted out of Green Bay on the night of the NFL Draft, it set into motion a whirlwind of rumors about the Packers fielding calls for the MVP’s services.
By the time the dust had settled on the weekend, however, the only trade Green Bay had made involved another Rodgers – Clemson wide receiver Amari Rodgers, whom the Packers moved up to take in the third round of the draft.
Even as Packer Nation has remained on pins and needles for the past month, a trade during May was never financially feasible for Green Bay.
The June 1 designation is a contractual clause built into many NFL contracts for veteran players. If a player is released before June 1, the entirety of the “dead cap” – unusable money taken up by that player’s contract – counts against the current season.
After the start of June, however, that salary number gets split into two league years.
This is financially significant for the Packers because Aaron Rodgers has one of the highest single-season cap hits in the league for 2021 – more than $38 million. If Green Bay had traded the reigning MVP any time in the last month, more than 20 percent of this year’s salary pool would’ve been unusable for the Packers.
However, after June 1, Rodgers’ number becomes much more manageable – about $19 million against the 2021 cap and around $17 million for the 2022 season, a feasible workaround especially with the cap expected to go up by as much as 10-15 percent next season.
Of course, the feasibility of a trade, even with the cap situation, would depend almost entirely on what the Packers could get in return. Rodgers is 37 and just had perhaps his most impressive statistical season. A trade of this caliber would likely include multiple first round picks along with current players on affordable deals.
Through the whirlwind of the past month, though, the Packers have remained adamant they don’t want to trade the 16-year veteran. As to whatever philosophical differences are separating Rodgers and the franchise, Green Bay knows its best shot at another Super Bowl in 2021 is with number 12 under center.