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Monday Cheese Curds: Packers keep waiting for Rodgers as free agency negotiations begin


Aaron Rodgers RX3 Charity Flag Football
Photo by Aubrey Lao /Getty Images

Legal tampering starts at Noon Eastern but the Packers still don’t have an answer from their quarterback yet.

Aaron Rodgers has promised to give the Green Bay Packers (and by extension, the New York Jets) a decision before the start of free agency. Now he has just hours left to deliver on that promise.

Although the NFL’s new league year does not begin until 4:00 PM Eastern on Wednesday, Monday brings the start of negotiations between teams and agents. The so-called “legal tampering” period kicks off at 12 Noon today, and it is at that time that teams begin making their initial overtures and contract offers to free agents-to-be across the league.

With no answer from Rodgers, the Packers and Jets remain in limbo as other teams gear up to get a head start on the market. For the Packers, the question is whether Rodgers will indeed accept a trade and increase his cap hit for 2023. That would give the Packers an extra $9 million in cap money charged for Rodgers for this season, but their books would be free and clear for 2024 and beyond.

The other option appears to be retirement, as the Packers seem to have made it clear that they are ready to start Jordan Love at quarterback. If Rodgers does call it quits, expect the paperwork to come after June 1st so that the Packers can spread out that $40 million cap hit over 2023 and 2024. In either case, Green Bay needs to know how much cap space to plan for in the next few seasons to understand how they can allocate it to potential incoming free agents.

The Jets of course have a different equation to consider, which includes parameters such as whether to consider free agent quarterbacks. Cap space is a concern as well, but the quarterback piece is certainly the biggest one.

For both teams, this decision really needs to happen before negotiations begin, even if teams are not able to formally sign players until Wednesday. After all, it’s difficult to impossible to negotiate when you don’t know what your negotiation position even is.

Will Rodgers deliver an announcement in time for the two teams to get free agency underway with all of the required information at their disposal? We will be waiting with bated breath, as he has about 3 and a half hours as of the time of publication of this piece.

As Rodgers himself said this weekend, “stay tuned.”

Aaron Rodgers teases announcement on Jets, NFL future | USA Today
Rodgers spoke to former NFL receiver Brandon Marshall on Sunday saying “I think it won’t be long” before his decision and “There’s a time limit on all this.” Unfortunately, for the Packers and Jets that time runs out at Noon Eastern Time today, when free agent negotiations get underway.

Packers president Mark Murphy answers questions on Aaron Rodgers situation | Packers Wire
A day or two earlier, Murphy gave the clearest comments yet on the Packers’ position, using the past tense when discussing Rodgers’ tenure in Green Bay and confirming that the Packers gave the Jets permission to meet with the QB.

NFL news roundup: Latest league updates from Sunday, March 12 |
Meanwhile, a handful of teams are starting to get players re-signed to new contracts before they can start talking to other teams today, with the likes of Matt Milano, Sterling Shepard, Tyquan Lewis, and Quincy Williams all inking new deals. Those came amid Sunday’s big trade announcement, which will send Jalen Ramsey from Los Angeles to Miami.

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Who is the new Packers defensive passing game coordinator? Let’s just say that (of course) there’s a strong connection to the existing coaching staff, as he has worked with both Joe Barry and Rich Bisaccia in the past.

Bud Grant, who led Vikings to 4 Super Bowls in HOF career, dies | ESPN
Grant was a true class act, and he was the defining presence of the early Vikings franchise. He will be missed by the entire NFL community.

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I suspect many of my fellow Millennials will be thrilled to channel our childhoods with a little alcohol involved.

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