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Aaron Rodgers, Packers agree to terms on four-year, $200M extension

The Packers' latest offseason dance with Aaron Rodgers is finished, and it might have been their last.

Green Bay is putting its money where its mouth is, agreeing with the 38-year-old Rodgers on a four-year extension worth $200 million, including $153 million in guaranteed money, NFL Network Insider Ian Rapoport reported Tuesday. The deal makes Rodgers the highest-paid player in NFL history on an annual basis while also reducing his salary-cap number for 2022.

The latter detail is especially important to Green Bay's chances of victory in the upcoming season. Green Bay was over the cap by roughly $26 million, and Rodgers' existing deal accounted for a cap number of $46.6 million in 2022, making retaining receiver Davante Adams quite a challenge. With Rodgers' new, lower cap number now factored in, Green Bay can place the franchise tag on Adams before Tuesday's 4 p.m. ET deadline, which Rapoport reported is what the Packers are expected to do.

Pat McAfee of "The Pat McAfee Show" first reported the news of Rodgers' deal. The QB later confirmed via Twitter that he "will be playing for the Packers" this upcoming season and is "very excited to be back."

The ripple effect of his deal doesn't end there, of course. The whopper of an extension means Rodgers has effectively leveraged his way out of a forced succession plan involving 2020 first-round pick Jordan Love, one that would have been similar to how he once succeeded Brett Favre. Back then, of course, Favre wasn't ready to stop playing, eventually moving to New York and Minneapolis before calling it a career, and it's pretty clear Rodgers isn't about to hang them up, either.

Rodgers clearly didn't have such an ending in mind, spending last offseason sowing seeds of discontent within the media before mending fences with Packers general manager Brian Gutekunst in time to return for the 2021 season. A second straight NFL MVP season followed, giving Rodgers about as much leverage as possible, especially considering the Packers again fell short of reaching the Super Bowl -- losing the the 49ers in the Divisional Round.

If they were to win now, as Gutekunst has said, it had to be with Rodgers. If Rodgers was going to stay, he needed security -- oh, and a pay bump, because everyone loves a raise and two straight MVPs are certainly worth one.

News of the deal ended speculation about a potential Rodgers pairing with the Denver Broncos, who turned around within hours of Rodgers' decision to acquire Russell Wilson from the Seattle Seahawks in a blockbuster trade. It also unlocks the rest of the NFL's grid of teams shopping for deals involving quarterbacks, freeing the flow of traffic with free agency just days away.

What exactly does this mean for Love? Well, if Rodgers were to play out all four years of his contract, Love would need to be on a second contract to still be with the Packers. Perhaps Green Bay fully commits to winning now and ships out the unproven Love for assets. Or, he sticks around and bides his time.

Regardless, Green Bay made its intentions clear with this news: The Packers are going to do everything possible to get over the hump with Rodgers leading the way. And they're not about to set up another ugly breakup with a franchise legend.

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