After Aaron Rodgers decided earlier this year to stay with the Packers, the Packers gave him a new contract. Under the terms of that contract, Rodgers has yet to receive any payment.
The deal includes a 2022 roster bonus of $40.8 million. Via Field Yates of ESPN.com, the payment previously was due to be made on December 31. That has now changed. Rodgers will receive $20.8 million by June 20, and the remaining $20 million by September 30.
Here’s a theory. Or at least a hypothesis. With Rodgers saying earlier this month that he thinks about retirement “all the time,” the structure of the new contract avoided any potential repayment obligation, if Rodgers had decided to retire before the 2022 season began. The change in the timing of the payment, with more than half of it being paid next week, could be a result of Rodgers deciding, after attending last week’s mandatory minicamp, that he’s indeed all in for 2022.
Although he could still retire and pay back the $20.8 million, it’s a lot cleaner to have never received the money. If nothing else, taking $20.8 million becomes a symbolic gesture that Rodgers is indeed ready to go for the coming season, despite his admission that retirement is always on his mind.