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Rodgers highest-paid ever

Packers QB now richer than Ravens' Flacco

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GREEN BAY, Wis. -- The Green Bay Packers gave Aaron Rodgers his opportunity when 23 other teams passed.

On another late April weekend with the NFL draft unfolding anew, there was Rodgers again, expressing his appreciation of the Packers for their latest sign of faith.

The Packers signed their franchise quarterback Friday to a five-year contract extension through the 2019 season, eight years after they stopped his slide down the draft board and took him with the 24th pick in the first round. The deal, according to a person with knowledge of the contract who spoke to The Associated Press on condition of anonymity because the team has not released the details, is worth as much as $110 million, with $40 million guaranteed.

Rodgers had two seasons remaining on his current deal for a total of roughly $20 million. So this is essentially a seven-year contract, right there with the $120.6 million that the Baltimore Ravens gave quarterback Joe Flacco last month over six years. Judged by the new part of the deal, Rodgers will be the highest-paid player in NFL history, with an average annual salary of $22 million over those five seasons.

"I'm excited to know my future is here and I'll be here for a lot longer," Rodgers said.

Locking up Rodgers was a priority for the Packers, who also reached a long-term extension with linebacker Clay Matthews this month worth as much as $66 million over five years. The Packers are 53-27 in five years with Rodgers as the starter, and he led them to the Super Bowl title following the 2010 season.

President Mark Murphy said leaving enough space under the salary cap to consistently field a competitive team around Rodgers for the life of his deal was "crucial." He also acknowledged that the Packers not only gave Rodgers a market-rate contract but set a new market in the process.

"But he's a pretty good quarterback, too," Murphy said, laughing.

 

-- The Associated Press

Republished from the Winnipeg Free Press print edition April 27, 2013 C5

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