Aaron Rodgers has a new deal with the New York Jets – and he’s taking a pay cut to try to deliver a Super Bowl for the winning-starved franchise.
Rodgers agreed to a new two-year, $75m guaranteed contract with the Jets on Wednesday, according to a person familiar with the deal.
The four-time NFL MVP had nearly $110m in guaranteed money remaining on his previous deal signed with Green Bay. But Rodgers is taking less money with New York in a move that appears to also reiterate his stay with the Jets is likely to last beyond just this season.
The person spoke to the AP on the condition of anonymity because the team didn’t announce the contract. NFL Network first reported the sides had agreed to a new deal – that includes no-franchise tag and no-trade clauses – after Rodgers confirmed a ProFootballTalk report on Tuesday night he had agreed to a reworked contract.
“Yeah, there’s going to be something hitting probably later on today,” Rodgers said.
As it turned out, it was a totally new contract for a player who has repeatedly hinted he was more than just a one-year rental for New York, who haven’t been to the Super Bowl since their only win with Joe Namath leading the way in 1969.
“The team gave up significant pieces for it to just be a one-year deal,” Rodgers said a few hours before the news of the contract circulated. “I’m aware of that. I think there was an awareness of that. Now, again, anything could happen with my body or the success that we have this year, but I’m having a blast, so I don’t really see this as a one-year-and-done thing.”
The Jets sent a first-, second- and sixth-round pick in this year’s draft to the Packers in April, along with a conditional second-rounder next year that could become a first-rounder if Rodgers plays at least 65% of the snaps. Green Bay gave up first and fifth-round picks this year, along with the quarterback.
Rodgers previously agreed to a reworked contract that helped push the trade forward. He was due a fully guaranteed $58.3m option bonus, but it was shifted to next year. That left New York needing to pay Rodgers the minimum during his first three months with the team, which cost only $1.2m against the salary cap – helping the Jets make additional roster moves and signings.
But that restructuring also meant Rodgers’ 2024 salary would have counted $107.6m against next year’s cap – an enormous hit.
Instead, the Jets and Rodgers were able to work out a new deal to satisfy both sides. It also gives Jets fans hope they can see a winner soon after the team has failed to make the playoffs for 12 straight years, the NFL’s longest active postseason drought.
“Change can be difficult, for sure, especially when it’s that drastic – 18 years in one spot,” Rodgers said, referring to his time in Green Bay. “But if you can lean into it and embrace it, there’s some really beautiful things on the other side. And I’ve been experiencing it so far and the people have been great, both in Jersey and in the city. And I’m just having a hell of a time.”