Packers' Aaron Rodgers has some opt-out leverage in standoff

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Aaron Rodgers has some opt-out leverage in standoff originally appeared on NBC Sports Chicago

The Green Bay Packers and Aaron Rodgers have been in a standoff this offseason, much to the delight of Chicago Bears fans.

If you've been out of the loop, Rodgers wants out of Green Bay. He even skipped minicamp.

But a lot of the speculation on whether Rodgers would actually sit out or retire centered on the massive sum of money he stood to lose by not playing.

Well, turns out he won't actually lose a lot of that money if he decides to opt out of the 2021 season by July 2.

Mike Florio of Pro Football Talk noted that the letter agreement between the NFL and NFL Players Association from Tuesday allows players to opt out with no criteria like having higher-risk condition amid the COVID-19 pandemic.

And that's the loophole Rodgers could use.

"The benefit to doing so comes from the fact that he would not forfeit $11.5 million in unearned signing bonus money for 2021 if he opts out," Florio explained. "Also, he presumably would still receive the payments on the $6.8 million roster bonus that he earned in March, and that is due to be paid out in weekly installments during the season."

That's $18.3 million Rodgers wouldn't have to return or lose if he opts out, a significant some of cash. He'd lose out on regular season salary though.

The catch is that's a decision that cannot be reversed. If the Packers traded him to another team, he couldn't play in 2021 after option out.

He stands to lose all that money if he lets the deadline pass and decides to holdout to try and force a trade to play this season. Not to mention the fines for skipping training camp that would come.

But this standoff just got a whole lot more intriguing.

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