2021 NFL QB Carousel Thread aka the NFL Offseason Thread

I know, I was just trying to make @Hamlet 's head explode, thus the winky.

Oh, I get it. You should have suggested he’d sign with the Bears!

C’mon, I’m not a sadist!

My understanding if just sits out, his contract tolls so the Packers will just be able to hang on to him for another year.

His current contract runs through the 2023 season. If what you say is correct, then in theory the Packers will just be able to hang on to him forever. He can play and get paid or not play and not get paid. Simple.

In doing probably way too much reading about the Rodgers situation over the past few weeks, some of the additional information I’ve seen (at least some of which seems to be coming from people who’ve talked to Rodgers):

  • The Packers feel that it’s very unlikely that any other team would offer them enough in trade for Rodgers, who is, of course, the reigning MVP, and still one of the best quarterbacks in the game. A team that’s already pretty good, but could use an upgrade at QB in order to contend for the Super Bowl (as the Bucs were last year, with Brady) is also going to be good enough that their draft choices (especially in the first round) are likely to be in the latter part of the round. A team that’s in rebuilding mode, and would have high draft choices, is less likely to be interested in Rodgers, as they might not be able to contend for several years, even with him, and his age (37) becomes a bigger factor.
  • As has been speculated, a primary bone of contention between Rodgers and Brian Gutekunst (the GM) has been over Rodgers not being consulted (or at least informed) on player moves. Moving up to draft Jordan Love appears to have been one case, but it appears that another one was the Packers’ decision to cut wide receiver Jake Kumerow in the last round of roster cuts prior to the 2020 season – Rodgers liked Kumerow a lot, and was angered that they cut him.

The rumor I’ve heard is that the Broncos have been trying to set up a trade for Rodgers.

Aaron does have another option… Retire. And that doesn’t have to be permanent. He can retire and come back later. Plenty of players have done that.

But that doesn’t get him out of his contract. The Packers will still control his rights whenever he decides to come back.

Versions of that rumor have been bubbling around since the story of Rodgers’ unhappiness dropped on draft day; the fact that the Broncos didn’t draft a QB seems to point to possible continued interest in Rodgers on their part, as well as the fact that their quarterbacks right now aren’t impressive – Teddy Bridgewater, Drew Lock, and Brett Rypien.

The Packers’ public stance has been vehement about not trading him; my suspicion is that they would trade him, if someone blew them away with an offer. Thus far, I don’t think any potential trade partner has come close.

And he might be petty enough not to come back. I kind of admire him for how principled he can be in holding a grudge.

I should know this, but Is there any situation where the Packers would release him after he retires in order to free up cap space? Maybe he sits out for a year and is then able to start dealing with other teams?

IIRC the Packers have 2 years of control left.

After this year, he becomes much easier for Green Bay to cut or trade from a cap perspective. (Contract details here.) If he could just get over himself and play this season, he could find himself a free agent in 9 months and be able to choose his destiny as Brady did this past year.

But siting out a year won’t help – his contract just tolls forward one year, putting him and the Packers right where they are now.

If he retires in 2021 what happens to that 2022 bonus?

I believe the Packers can force him to pay it back, although it’s not required. That’s what happened with Megatron.

If he refuses does it apply against the Packers 2022 cap? Does it accelerate to the 2021 cap?

I don’t think retirement erases the cap hit assuming they allow him to keep it, so they’d be motivated to claw it back or trade him.

Bonuses aren’t paid out after retirement. Retired players go on a team’s reserve/retired list, meaning they’re on the team, but not attached to any roster. Cap hits from signing bonuses use the same rules as trading/cutting a player - it all accelerates to the current league year, or 50/50 current year/next year if after June 1st. However, the team can demand the prorated portion of any signing bonus back, which clears it from the cap.

It’s a scorched earth tactic from either side, and something I don’t see happening.

The Bears have submitted a bid to buy the Arlington International Racecourse (formerly known as Arlington Park) horse racing facility, which is located in Chicago’s northwestern suburbs; the park was put up for sale by its current owner, Churchill Downs, earlier this year. It’s pretty clear that the team is looking to Arlington as an opportunity to build a new stadium, and move out of Soldier Field.

This doesn’t make any sense. The team was aggressively stupid when they rebuilt the stadium 20 years ago and now they are suffering the consequences, but that doesn’t make moving to Arlington Heights any more logical than it did the last 10 times this idea was floated.

The lease with the Park District runs through 2033, so that’s one big barrier. Second, the Bears rent is an amazingly low $6.3M/year, so the current confines are a plum deal. Are they seriously gonna spend $2B+ to get out of what is a excellent financial situation? Hosting a Super Bowl or having a Roof are not that valuable, since you know, the Bears have been selling out for decades with one of the highest seat costs in the league.

I have no idea why the Bears would buy the racetrack. They recently expanded and rebuilt most of Halas Hall in the tony Lake Forest area, so I can’t see them moving that either. Maybe the Bears and the McCaskeys want to get in on a casinos or something which has long been rumored for that land. Or hell, maybe they can continue running horses out there.

Last week the rumor was that the McCaskeys were selling the team. So who the hell knows what’s going on, but I’d put the odds of a Arlington Heights home for the Bears at less than 100:1.

Edit: Maybe the Bears are simply buying themselves some leverage for the next lease renegotiation with the Park District. Having some land in the burbs already in the pocket would make any threats to move a lot more believable.

Could they get a piece of the sports gambling there if they opened a casino? You could place bets right from the Bears app maybe.

Who knows what the NFL’s ultimate positions and policies will be for NFL teams participating directly in sports betting will be. Illinois legalized it, but the Bears have historically been a pretty conservative organization so them being trend setters or a test case seems a little unlikely.

Also, all the rumors about a Arlington Heights casino sort of dried up when the Rosemont casino opened up a few miles down the Kennedy. But, Illinois has been talking about opening up a few more casinos so I suppose that area could support two of them like Joliet does today. I’d bet this would be quite a bit more likely than a new football stadium though.

Edit: Come to think of it, there’s probably already a policy in place since the Raiders moved to Vegas. Not sure what that is but maybe it’s a model the Bears are eying.