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Packers' Murphy says signing Rodgers is a 'priority.'

The SportsXchange

Green Bay Packers President Mark Murphy publicly acknowledged Tuesday that the team is exploring a long-term contract with franchise quarterback Aaron Rodgers.

Murphy told reporters at the owner's meetings that a deal would likely be done before the start of this season and make him the NFL's highest-paid player.

"It's a priority," Murphy said. "I think as an organization, I think we all want to see that get done."

Murphy added that he's not sure where things stand between Rodgers' agent, David Dunn, and negotiator Russ Ball. Murphy said the team could find the dollars for a contract that could be worth as much as $50 million in guaranteed money. The Packers cleared $42.7 million in profit last year, according to the Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel.

"It's not an issue at all," Murphy said. "We have more than enough resources to do whatever they need to do."

Rodgers is entering the sixth season of a seven-year, $65 million contract he signed in November 2008. He is scheduled to earn $9.75 million this year, far less than the yearly average of the game's top quarterbacks.

While Murphy hopes to lock in the current face of the franchise, he also wants to bring back icon Brett Favre, so the team can retire his number 4. Farve played for the Packers from 1992-2007.

"I don't want to put a deadline on it, but it's going to happen," Murphy said. "It's got to be sitting down, the organization, whether it's myself or others, sitting down with him and working on the timing on it."
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