Contract Forecast: Aaron Rodgers

Contract Forecast: Aaron Rodgers
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Contract Forecast: Aaron Rodgers

With the recent long-term signing of QB Joe Flacco, the Packers have made it clear that extending their franchise leader Aaron Rodgers was their next priority. The deal will lock in their elite play-caller through his veteran years, and most likely reduce his current cap figure, allowing the Packers room to grow.

Rodgers current deal has him signed through 2014, with cap figures of $9.75M in 2013, and $11M in 2014. The new deal will most likely reduce those numbers going forward. It's extremely likely that the model of the Joe Flacco deal will be used as a starting point for this deal - with more guaranteed money to be had than the fairly low $29M given by Baltimore.

Spotrac breaks down the statistics, and compiles a prediction for the long-term extension soon to come.
Comparable Quarterbacks
To generate a prediction the Spotrac team determined that Eli Manning, Drew Brees, Ben Roethlisberger, and Joe Flacco were viable targets to use in comparing with Rodgers. They key was to locate starting quarterbacks with similar numbers, who signed their second/third big contract around the current age of Rodgers(29). Here's a look at the contracts signed by each.
Player Length Value Avg. Salary Age When Signed
Eli Manning 7 $106.9 million $15,271,429 29
Drew Brees 5 $100 million $20,000,000 33
Ben Roethlisberger 8 $102 million $12.75 million 27
Joe Flacco 6 $120.6 million $20.1 million 28
Averages 6.5 $107,375,000 $17,030,357 29.25
To determine a more likely starting point for our numbers, we'll perform a linear regression of the contract information listed above.

A linear regression is a formula that plots the provided points of data for Length and Value of the contracts, and then generates the best-fit line for those points, resulting in a "slope" value that translates to an average annual salary.

View the list of Top Average Paid Quarterbacks in the NFL
Length Value Avg. Salary (slope)
6.5 $121,054,762 $18,623,810
Statistical Analyzations
Now let's analyze these players statistically over their careers by showing the averages for Games/Season, Passing Yards/Season, Passing TD/Season, Passing INT/Season, and Completion %/Season.

Then, to assess how well the player was performing prior to signing their respective contract, we'll show the averages of these statistics two years prior to their signing date. This will give us a "Prime Percentage" for each player, providing us with a snapshot for how well that player was performing when the contract was signed in relation to his overall career.
Joe Flacco (BAL) Career/Year 2010-2011 Prime %
Passing Yards/Year3,454 3,616 104%
Passing TD/Year 20 22.5 112%
Passing INT/Year 11.5 11 95%
Comp. %/Year 60.8 60.1 98.8%
Games Per Year151493%
Eli Manning (NYG) Career/Year 2008-2009 Prime %
Passing Yards/Year 3,503 3,629 103%
Passing TD/Year 23.4 24 102.6%
Passing INT/Year 16 12 75%
Comp. %/Year 58.6 61.3 104%
Games Per Year 15 16 106%
Ben Roethlisberger (PIT) Career/Year 2006-2007 Prime %
Passing Yards/Year 3,316 3,333 100%
Passing TD/Year 21.2 25 117%
Passing INT/Year 12 17 141%
Comp. %/Year 63.1 62.5 99%
Games Per Year 14 15 107%
Drew Brees (NO) Career/Year 2010-2011 Prime %
Passing Yards/Year 4,795 5,048 105%
Passing TD/Year 34.8 39.5 113%
Passing INT/Year 16 18 112%
Comp. %/Year 67.1 69.6 103%
Games Per Year 15.8 16 101%
Aaron Rodgers (GB) Career/Year 2010-2011 Prime %
Passing Yards/Year 4,266 4,469 104%
Passing TD/Year 34 42 123%
Passing INT/Year 9 7 128%
Comp. %/Year 65.7 67.75 103%
Games Per Year 15.7 15.5 98%
Our results here show that for the most part these Quarterbacks showed slight increases in performance prior to signing their contracts. Rodgers 111.2% prime number means he's due to make a major increase in pay. We'll factor in this extra 11% into our previously determined value.
Guaranteed Money
The name of the game with major contracts in the current era of football is the true guaranteed money associated with the deal. We saw records fall in 2012 when Drew Brees ascertained $40M guaranteed in the first year of his deal. Peyton Manning struck a deal with "condtional guarantees", $18M up front, now $40M more in 2013. The matter at hand here is durability and loyality - two components built into the fabric of Aaron Rodgers thusfar in his career.

It's fair to assume that Peyton's $58M guaranteed money right now is the benchmark the sides are negotiating over. We'll assume the $60M number is about where this deal will fall with true guaranteed value.

View the list of Top Guaranteed Contracts in the NFL.
Length of the Contract
At age 29 and a franchise in Green Bay, it might be OK to give Rodgers a 7th year - but it's not likely. We'll round down to a 6 year deal.

Value of the Contract
Rodgers has clearly earned the market maximum - plus incentives based on his last 2 years performance. Adding in 11% more to our previously deviated value gives us the contract prediction below.
Spotrac's Prediction: 6 years, $124,034,571
Average annual salary $20.6M, estimated $60 million guaranteed