FLORHAM PARK, N.J. – Aaron Rodgers did his new team a solid by restructuring his massive contract, allowing the New York Jets to execute the blockbuster trade without having to make significant moves to stay under the salary cap.
Prior to the trade, Rodgers and the Green Bay Packers converted a $58.3 million option bonus, payable in 2023, into a 2024 base salary, a source told ESPN’s Dan Graziano. As a result, he’s making only $1.165 million this season — the base-salary minimum. That also represents his cap charge.
Under his previous contract — the three-year, $150 million extension from last year — the Jets would’ve inherited a $15.8 million cap charge. That’s relatively low for a player of his stature, but it would’ve put the Jets several million dollars over the cap.
By pushing the $58.3 million option bonus into next year — the bonus is fully guaranteed — Rodgers’ 2024 compensation balloons to $107.55 million. That consists of an original $47 million option bonus, plus a $1.21 million in minimum salary, plus the $58.3 million bonus from this year.
Once the Jets exercise the $47 million option bonus, they can spread the cap hit over the remainder of the contract, which runs through 2027. They could add a void year to spread it over five, lowering the cap charges. If they do nothing other than pick up the $47 million option bonus, his 2024 cap hit would be $71.26 million.
The Jets and Rodgers’ agent, David Dunn, already are having discussions about restructuring the deal once again, Rodgers confirmed after Wednesday’s news conference. Chances are, he will have a new deal in place by training camp.
Rodgers, 39, didn’t commit to playing in 2024, but he strongly hinted that he will, saying, “They definitely gave up some picks for me to be here, so this isn’t like one-and-done in my mind.”
The compensation package included a 2023 second-round pick and a 2024 conditional second rounder that improves to a first rounder if he plays at least 65% of the offensive snaps.
For now, though, the place-holder contract allows the Jets cap room to sign draft picks and pursue free agents. They are $7.4 million under the cap, according to NFLPA data. On Wednesday, they created about $3.5 million in space by tweaking defensive end John Franklin-Myers’ contract, a source told ESPN’s Field Yates.