The Green Bay Packers announced that they have reached a long-term extension with three-time Pro Bowl quarterback Aaron Rodgers.
Rodgers' current contract runs through the 2014 season and had $20.75 million in non-guaranteed cash remaining. According to Albert Breer of the NFL Network, the five-year extension is worth $110 million and will pay the 2011 NFL Most Valuable Player $62.5 million over the first three seasons. Overall, Rodgers will earn $130.75 million over the next seven seasons and the contract will expire a few months after his 36th birthday.
The $22 million per year average of the extension beats the $20.6 million per year average that Joe Flacco received from the Baltimore Ravens earlier this offseason, making Rodgers the highest-paid player in NFL history. The $62.5 million that Rodgers will receive over the all-important first three seasons of the deal also beats the deal signed by Flacco, who will earn $62 million over the next three seasons. Multiple reports have Rodgers received $40 million in 2013, which would be equivalent to what New Orleans Saints quarterback Drew Brees received in 2012, the first season of his five-year, $100 million contract extension that was signed on July 16, 2012.
“Aaron is a true professional and a special player," GM Ted Thompson said in a statement released by the Packers. "He works hard, is humble, and is focused on his actions, on and off the field. He is an excellent teammate and pushes himself and others to be the very best. We are happy to reach an agreement to extend his career with the Packers."
In his five seasons since taking over for Brett Favre as the Packers' starting quarterback, Rodgers has passed for 21,332 yards with 170 touchdowns and just 46 interceptions. Rodgers has also used his legs to run for over 1,400 yards with 18 touchdowns and has earned Pro Bowl honors in 2009, 2011 and 2012, was the MVP of the Packers' win over the Pittsburgh Steelers in Super Bowl XLV and is arguably one of the top two or three quarterbacks in the National Football League.
"An exciting day for our football program," Packers head coach Mike McCarthy said. "Aaron is an excellent illustration of a Green Bay Packer. It is truly a blessing to witness his continued accomplishments, both on and off the field."