The Green Bay Packers appear to be planning for Aaron Rodgers to be on the team in 2021, regardless if the league’s reigning MVP actually wants to be with the franchise or not. Green Bay took a step in creating salary cap space to take on Rodgers’ 2021 salary, re-signing tight end Robert Tonyan, per ESPN’s Field Yates.
The Packers decided to convert $2.349 million of Tonyan’s $3.384 million deal (which was the second-round tender the team placed on him in March) into a bonus, which was prorated over four years added into the deal (all void years). The Packers created $1,879,200 in available salary cap space (they had $6,656,999 in available salary cap space entering the day).
Tonyan had 52 catches for 586 yards and 11 touchdowns in a breakout season in 2020, starting more than one game for the first time in his career. He was tied with Travis Kelce for the most receiving touchdowns amongst tight ends last year.
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Per NFL Network’s Tom Pelissero, the Packers clearing cap space indicates they are planning on Rodgers to be with the team in 2021. Rodgers has a cap number of $37,202,000 heading into this season, and while a trade would save them $22,850,000 in cap space — whereas the Packers wouldn’t be maneuvering to clear cap space if they thought Rodgers (and his huge salary) wasn’t going to be in Green Bay in 2021.
Packers general manager Brian Gutekunst continues to hold his stance he will not trade Rodgers and appears to be doing whatever he can to make sure the Packers quarterback is on the roster — and has the resources he needs to compete in 2021. What Green Bay needs to accomplish to mend fences with Rodgers will be up to the MVP, but creating cap space with minor moves doesn’t indicate they are planning to move on from him any time soon.
A Rodgers trade doesn’t appear to be on the horizon just yet.