Green Bay Packers head coach Matt LaFleur made a comment this week that sounds good in theory, but it’s probably not how things will actually go down this offseason.
LaFleur was asked if he wants Aaron Rodgers to return as Green Bay’s starting quarterback in 2023.
“Of course,” answered LaFleur when asked if wants Rodgers back next season, before noting that it’s up to the Packers’ front office to make that decision.
#Packers coach Matt LaFleur said what you'd expect him to say when asked if he wants Aaron Rodgers back next season. "Of course." Problem is, it's probably not his decision. It will come down to GM Brian Gutekunst and president Mark Murphy deciding the best step forward.— Tom Silverstein (@TomSilverstein) December 5, 2022
The decision on whether or not Rodgers returns next season is up to one person — Rodgers.
If Rodgers wants to play for the Packers in 2023, then he’ll play for the Packers in 2023.
Green Bay can’t release Rodgers unless they’re comfortable with a $100 million dead cap hit.
There isn’t a front office in the NFL that would be comfortable with taking that dead cap hit. It simply won’t be an option for the Packers.
Green Bay could possibly trade Rodgers, but that scenario is also unlikely. The Packers would still face a $40 million dead cap hit (that hit would be spread out over 2023 and 2024 if it’s a post 6/1 trade). Whoever trades for Rodgers would also have to be comfortable taking on his large salary (not likely).
So it’s basically either Rodgers retires or he plays for Green Bay next season. There really isn’t anything for the front office to decide.
LaFleur, of course, knows that. He’s just saying the right things publicly. But make no mistake, this decision is Rodgers’ to make and no one else’s.
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