It’s finally over. The deal that’s been speculated over for months now has finally come to fruition. Rodgers has now extended his contract two more years to a current worth of $134 million. That includes just over $100 million in guaranteed money for the Green Bay Packers ace. This is huge news for the Packers who have been trying to nail down an extension for the quarterback in order to keep him in Green Bay likely through retirement.
I recently voiced my thoughts on this contract and now that the deal has come through there are two important things to know. One is that Rodgers broke through and got the record breaking deal he desired which is not a huge surprise. While the exact breakdowns of the deal aren’t exactly known, apparently his contract won’t change too much this year which will basically give them the ability to keep the team as is without losing anyone.
However, it’s hard to not speculate on how this may affect them in the future. Getting paid over ten million more each season is certain to have a significant effect on what the Packers front office is able to do with its assets in the coming years. Ten million less severely hampers the teams flexibility in free agency making it look like the Packers will stick to cheap draft picks to fill out the teams depth chart, especially on defense.
The other important thing to note is the reason why the deal was delayed. It seems Rodgers was trying to explorenon-traditional ways of making his new contract. Apparently he wanted to make a more NBA or MLB type contract which gives more flexibility and control to the player rather than the team. According to Rodgers, the NFL system isn’t really set to accommodate the demands of a contract like that yet. Still, making off with $103 million in guaranteed money and getting more than $80 million of it by March of next year seems like as good as he was realistically going to get. While it may make the team struggle down the stretch, Rodgers filled his need of being the highest paid player in the NFL.
Tim Boyle beat out Brett Hundley for the back-up position
In other slightly less noticeable news, undrafted and little known Tim Boyle managed to beat out Brett Hundley for the back-up job. It’s a feel good story for the quarterback who somehow ended up on the Packers radar. This is a guy that never started until his redshirt senior year where he threw 11 touchdowns and 13 interceptions for Eastern Kentucky. Yeah, I’m still not sure how he got here either. Yet the young man impressed, managing to hit 50% of his passes this preseason and throw two touchdowns without giving up one interception. While he seems like an almost infinitely long way from landing a starting gig in the league, it always makes me smile to see hard work and dedication pay off in guys like this that keep working and never try to stop improving.
However, it’s as much of an indictment on Hundley as it is an accomplishment for Boyle. Hundley, unlike Boyle, went to a highly touted school in UCLA and had quite the career there. He became the all-time leader in touchdowns scored and yards gained despite only three seasons as a starter there. Past all the glitz and glam of his college success, he slipped to the 5thround of the draft when the Packers picked him up with the 147thpick.
Yet even though Rodgers was still in his early thirties at the time and Hundley dropped so low, there was a still an expectation around him. People felt like Green Bay may have been drafting the next Rodgers in a similar manner to how they drafted the original Rodgers: with several years to learn and grow under the tutelage of an elite quarterback. Unfortunately, after unexpectedly getting the reigns to the team last year when Rodgers suffered yet another broken collar bone, Hundley showed at least at that time he was not quite capable of leading the team.
While it was certainly a difficult situation for anyone to be put in, Hundley’s 3-7 record drew ire from the fans so used to expecting greatness and even his wins were far from convincing. While I wish Hundley the best of luck in competing for the backup spot behind the seemingly ever healthy Russell Wilson, that tragic season may have cost him his career.