Aaron Rodgers to Falcons GM: ‘Get Ryan deal done so I can get on with my life’
Aaron Rodgers’ agent, David Dunn of Athletes First, isn’t the only one getting leaned on by his client regarding an imminent record-breaking contract extension with the Green Bay Packers.
Apparently, Rodgers also nudged Thomas Dimitroff a few months ago to take care of the Falcons general manager’s own MVP quarterback in an effort to accelerate Rodgers’ timeline to sign a new deal.
“I saw Aaron, interestingly enough, at the Super Bowl in the airport,” Dimitroff told Andrew Brandt on The Business of Sports Podcast. “And he just said to me, ‘we don’t know each other that well, but just get this deal done with Matt first so I can get on with my life.’ I knew right then, I thought, that was a good thing because that’s all we needed was for Aaron to go first and to navigate through all of this — we knew that wasn’t going to be the case.”
The Falcons, of course, did their part, making Ryan earlier this month the NFL’s first $30 million-per-year passer, with a contract including $100 million guaranteed. As Dimitroff explained during his entertaining conversation with Brandt, the framework of that deal was aided by previous monster pacts awarded by the San Francisco 49ers to Jimmy Garoppolo, and Minnesota Vikings, who inked Kirk Cousins to the first fully-guaranteed contract in NFL history.
Now, with Ryan’s deal likely providing a blueprint for new Packers GM Brian Gutekunst in the Rodgers negotiations, it’s certainly a matter of when, not if, the Packers’ quarterback surpasses his NFC rivals. But it’ll be fascinating to see by how much, and what the fine print reveals. Neither Rodgers nor Ryan comes off their finest season — Rodgers missed more than half of 2017 with a broken right collarbone; Ryan, though still productive, took a major step back from his MVP campaign two years ago — but each have much stronger bodies of work than Garoppolo and Cousins.
Rodgers won’t get a fully-guaranteed contract — that was a perfect storm with an unrestricted free agent entering a potential bidding war — but we suspect he could land close to $35 million annually and north of $110 million guaranteed. Indeed, Rodgers should be able to “get on with his life” very soon, likely wielding a new deal that positions him to retire (very comfortably) as a member of the Packers.