National Football League
Does Aaron Rodgers deserve to be NFL's highest-paid player?
National Football League

Does Aaron Rodgers deserve to be NFL's highest-paid player?

Published Feb. 25, 2022 4:20 p.m. ET

"Who is the highest-paid player in the NFL?"

Former "Jeopardy!" guest host Aaron Rodgers hopes that sentence will be the winning response if his name pops up as a future clue on the popular game show.

Rodgers wants a hefty reward from the team he decides to suit up for next, and while the current Packers' QB hasn't revealed who that will be, he knows that he wants to be paid. And according to ESPN's Diana Russini, he wants to be paid handsomely.


"He wants to be the highest-paid player in the NFL by a wide margin," Russini told NFL Network's Rich Eisen on "The Rich Eisen Show."

"We're talking about $50 million a year."

Russini was adamant that dollar signs would heavily influence Rodgers' impending decision, and that's a reality that bodes poorly for Green Bay, which is currently $37.4 million over the cap according to Spotrac. Rodgers is set to earn a base salary of $26,470,588 next season while carrying a cap hit of $46,664,157.

"We know the cap situation the Packers are in, and we know Davante Adams needs to get paid," Russini told Eisen.

She added, though, that "there are multiple teams that are waiting to see what happens here, because they are willing to make a trade for him."

"Teams can make it work. One team I spoke with that is in the hunt — it didn't make sense to me — but I was told ‘it will work out.' Perhaps that’s at the detriment of other players, they may have to cut some, but teams are waiting for this decision. The teams that I've spoken to that want him have been working towards putting [something] together to make it work for Green Bay."

Russini said she believed Rodgers' decision could come as soon as next week.

And though it appears some teams would be willing to dole out the necessary funds to acquire Rodgers' talents, several analysts believe he's not even close to deserving of a salary of $50-plus million.

Chris Broussard is one of them.

"I'm disappointed," Broussard revealed Friday on "First Things First."

"I have no problem with Aaron Rodgers wanting market value, or above market value. You can justify it. But Patrick Mahomes made $45 million last year as the highest paid player in the league. You look at the winners of our day. Tom Brady made a ton of money, more than any player in history. But it wasn't all about the money for him. He made sure to leave a little bit for the other guys to make sure that he could have a Super Bowl-contending team. Michael Jordan was woefully underpaid for most of his career. LeBron James was willing to take less in Miami. Even Patrick Mahomes left money on the table to give [the Chiefs] room to get other players."

Nick Wright was shocked as well, and asserted that there was no way the Packers could retain Rodgers at that rate.

"Who does Rodgers think he is?" Wright asked.

"You know who definitely cannot do it? The Green Bay Packers. Aaron Rodgers' cap hit next year is $46 million already, and that's despite the fact that he's already receiving compensation from them of less than $30 million. So they have [around] $17 million of old cap applying to this year, not to mention his current contract has a void year with an $8 million cap hit for him not to play for them. I'm really surprised that Aaron Rodgers at this point in his career would be prioritizing $10 or $12 million over an extra Super Bowl appearance."

Even Rodgers' former teammate was taken aback by the news.

"I'm surprised because when I listened to Aaron Rodgers after the playoff loss, some of his comments alluded to some of his teammates that he would consider in his decision," former Packers' WR Greg Jennings said on the show.

"Now all of a sudden, you're trying to take a large chunk of the pie, knowing that Davante Adams is out there, Robert Tonyan is out there, and understanding what taking this amount of money does to your personnel. You potentially will have to get rid of some guys."

For Jennings, a personal anecdote makes today's situation even worse.

"Aaron Rodgers has been a very selfish guy," he added.

"I remember when I was up [for an extension], and Aaron was getting ready to be up. Aaron Rodgers came up to me when I signed my first extension after my rookie deal. Players had been going back to the front office and trying to renegotiate, and weren't happy with the contracts that had been signed. His words to me were ‘don’t be that guy. Don't sign this contract and then want more money.' Now you forget those words that you tried to invest into others. You can't do those types of things."

For Aaron Rodgers it's about the money — Greg Jennings

Greg Jennings reacts to reports of Aaron Rodgers stating he wants to be the highest-paid quarterback in the league by a wide margin.

Rodgers' focus appears to have swayed away from the Lombardi Trophy, and magnetized towards dollar signs.

He hasn't revealed his future plans yet, but based on recent new, Rodgers' opening statements in his upcoming contractual negotiations could very well be "show me the money."


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