Aaron Rodgers has a unique opportunity to sit out the 2021 season without taking a huge financial hit, but the Green Bay Packers star is unlikely to go that route.
Like last season, there is an agreement in place between the NFL and NFL Players Association that allows players to opt out of all of 2021 and essentially delay the player’s contract. Rodgers is in the middle of a dispute with the Packers that has no end in sight, so there has been speculation that he could simply opt out and have the team agree to trade him next offseason.
According to Mike Florio of Pro Football Talk, that is unlikely to happen. The main reason is that the deadline to opt out is July 2, and the decision is final.
Rodgers already collected a $6.8 million roster bonus for this season in March. He also has an $11.5 million signing bonus for this season. That money would still eventually be paid out if he opts out of 2021. However, as one source told Florio, Rodgers is confident he won’t have to pay back any money even if he doesn’t opt out and still ends up not playing this season.
There are still too many unknowns with the situation between Rodgers and the Packers, so the belief is that the 37-year-old will not want to make himself ineligible for the 2021 season by July 2.
Another option for Rodgers would be retiring due to a football injury and then returning in 2022. However, Florio notes that Rodgers has given no indication that he would go that route.
A recent country club rumor involving Rodgers got Packers fans excited, but the drama is likely to drag on for at least several more weeks.