Now that Dallas Cowboys quarterback Tony Romo has received an extremely lucrative long-term contract extension and Joe Flacco has been made the highest-paid player in NFL history, the table has been set for a much better quarterback to eclipse them all.
The six-year, $65 million deal Aaron Rodgers signed with the Green Bay Packers during the 2008 season expires after the 2014 campaign, which means the Packers don't really have to become serious about an extension until next offseason. But why mess around with arguably the best quarterback in the game? Rodgers is only going to make about $10 million in each of the next two years, which is ridiculous when you consider the money guys like Romo, Flacco, Peyton Manning and Drew Brees are making.
That's why this comes as no surprise…
So, how much will Rodgers make? Considering that Manning got $58 million guaranteed at the age of 36 and Romo got $55 million guaranteed at the age of 34, you'd think that a 29-year-old Rodgers — the highest-rated quarterback in NFL history by a wide margin — would be in line to receive the first $60 million guarantee in league history. Manning is making just over $19 million annually, while Brees is making $20 million and Flacco is averaging $20.1 million. Again, with that in mind, you'd have to think that Rodgers would demand at least $22 million per season.
If I had to guess, I'd say we're looking at a six-year, $135 million extension with $62 million guaranteed.
Of course, Rodgers could pull a Tom Brady and sign a team-friendly deal. We don't know what exactly to expect. But the Packers have the money to spend because they don't participate in free agency anyway. It won't hurt them to pay up and keep their franchise leader happy.
Two other quarterbacks due to be extended or re-signed soon are Matt Ryan (rookie contract expires after this season) and Jay Cutler (entering the final season of a five-year contract). They're both presumably thanking Flacco and Romo.