Aaron Rodgers Now Officially a Holdout

Written by:
C Costigan
Published on:

The best and unhappiest quarterback in the NFL has turned up the heat on his feud with his football bosses by missing the first day of mandatory minicamp. The Packers began camp on Tuesday, and Aaron Rodgers was a no-show.

Rodgers already took a $500,000 hit when he skipped voluntary workouts last month, costing him his bonus. Now he is risking daily fines and further alienating himself from the front office, his coaches, his teammates and Packers fans.

This is the first time in his 16-year career that Rodgers has been a holdout, after missing all of the team’s offseason voluntary workouts for the first time in his career.  Now the next date that everyone in Green Bay has circled on their calendar is July 27, when the Packers begin training camp.

Betting markets still suspect Rodgers will don the #12 jersey in September however, still posting them as the odds-on -150 favorites to win the NFC North. Though in the last few weeks, the Minnesota Vikings gained ground in that regard.

Teammates Show Support

Packers president Mark Murphy has stated publicly that the Rodgers rift has divided Packers fans. At least publicly Packers players are on Team Rodgers.

Wide receiver Davante Adams said, “I’ve got his back through everything so he knows that at the end of the day, if there’s ever a wonder if he’s lost a teammate or something because of all that’s come out, he knows where I stand.”

All-Pro offensive lineman David Bakhtiari echoed similar sentiments. “For me, I care about Aaron Rodgers from a friend's perspective. Whatever he wants to do, whatever the situation that comes out, I will never hold any grudge against him. That is my friend

“Now, as a teammate, I would be idiotic to say that I don’t want the MVP back.”

It is of course entirely possible, and even plausible, that not all Packers agree. Some players may feel that Rodgers is being selfish. That he’s in the wrong for missing minicamp. But if those players exist, they aren’t speaking out.

The Financials for Rodgers

Fines for missing minicamp are entirely at the team’s discretion, and so far the Packers seem reluctant to issue any. But per the collective bargaining agreement signed by the NFLPA, there is an automatic $50,000 daily fine for missing training camp, and those fines cannot be waived by the team. If Rodgers holdouts for all of the training camp his fines would total more than $2 million.

Then if Rodgers were to holdout for the regular season he will lose $14.7 million in base salary and $6.8 million in roster bonuses. The Packers can also go after him for $11.5 million in yet to be paid signing bonus money.

And looking ahead to 2022, his base salary is $25 million and there is another $11.5 million due in signing bonus, plus the $500,000 workout bonus. All would be lost if he decides to walk away instead of playing another game in Green Bay.

For a guy with plans for life after football that includes a desire to find a place in professional sports ownership, that’s a lot of money to leave on the table.

Chandler Jones a Cardinals Camp Holdout

Another big name holding out of minicamp is Chandler Jones of the Arizona Cardinals. The All-Pro pass rusher is in the final year of his contract and he is hoping to sign an extension before the new season gets underway.

One of the biggest sticking points for Jones is that his contract no longer includes any guaranteed money. It also probably didn’t help much that despite Jones’ continued production on the field, the team went out and spent money to bring in J.J. Watt, but has yet to re-sign him.

Jones signed his five-year, $82.5 million contract in 2017, and he currently counts more than $20 million against Arizona’s salary cap. And that cap number, and the current impasses on contract negotiations, could mean that Jones will be playing elsewhere before the 2021 season kicks off. His dead cap hit would be $5.3 million.

Jones and Watt did participate in a photoshoot at the team’s media day, and he continues to do everything that one would expect from a leader of Jones’ caliber. The only thing left now is for him to get a new deal, and get into a camp. Or for the Cardinals to find a trade partner that can handle a $20.8 million dollar cap number.

Arizona currently sits in last place on the odds board to win the NFC West with their regular-season win total set at 8½ juiced to the under.

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