Aaron Rodgers has shocked the world – and the entire National Football League – by letting it be known that he doesn’t want to play for the Green Bay Packers anymore. Obviously, that’s been the story of the offseason.
Rodgers is the reigning league MVP and there’s no doubt that he’d make any team a Super Bowl contender right away, so the rest of the franchises are waiting to see what the future holds for him.
Some – including Brett Favre – actually believe that Rodgers would rather sit out or retire instead of playing if he doesn’t get traded. And, according to a recent report and a loophole in the rules, he could simply not play and still get paid.
Aaron Rodgers Could Opt Out Of The Season
“The letter agreement between the NFL and NFL Players Association from Tuesday of this week does indeed grant broad powers to all players to opt out of the 2021 season, regardless of whether they opted out in 2020 or whether they have been diagnosed with a higher-risk condition since October 1, 2020. Although such players would be entitled to no stipend for 2021, any player who executed his most recent contract before October 1, 2020 can indeed opt out voluntarily, no questions asked as to motivation or qualification or possible ulterior motive,” ProFootballTalk reported.
“This includes, most notably, Packers quarterback Aaron Rodgers. By next Friday, July 2, he can pull the plug on the 2021 season. It would be a permanent and irrevocable decision, but he can do it," they add.
The worst part – for the Packers – of this agreement is that Rodgers would still get paid a lot of money in the case he just decided to opt out of the season, using his leverage to get a trade for the next campaign:
“The benefit to doing so comes from the fact that he would not forfeit $11.5 million in unearned signing bonus money for 2021 if he opts out. Also, he presumably would still receive the payments on the $6.8 million roster bonus that he earned in March, and that is due to be paid out in weekly installments during the season. That’s $18.3 million that he’ll keep by opting out. If he doesn’t opt out but holds out, he loses that $18.3 million — and would be fined roughly $2 million on top of it for skipping training camp,” the report concluded.
Needless to say, this is terrible news for the Packers organization and the league as a whole. The product is way better when the best players are on the gridiron, so this is a story that’s worth following pretty closely in the next couple of weeks.