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How Aaron Rodgers’ massive Packers contract affects the Eagles

Rodgers is staying in Green Bay, and what that means for your Birds.

SPORTS-SULLIVAN-COLUMN-SPORTSPLUS-TB Brian Cassella/Chicago Tribune/Tribune News Service via Getty Images

I’ll bet Aaron’s glad Jeopardy! didn’t want him now.

Talk show host Pat McAfee and later NFL Network’s Ian Rappaport have reported today that Aaron Rodgers has agreed to a mega-deal with the Green Bay Packers, the richest contract in NFL history.

It’s unlikely Rodgers will see all $200 million, but $153 million in guaranteed money is still insane over a four-year period. And, at $50 million a season, his cap number actually goes down in 2022, which means the team will likely be able to hold onto Rodger’s No. 1 target, Davante Adams.

Let’s ignore for a moment the fact Rodgers once again fell short of a Super Bowl appearance this year and hasn’t been to the big game since following the 2010 season, he’s still one of the two or three best QBs in the league, and by far the best in the suddenly QB-weakened NFC.

So how does this news affect the Eagles? Glad you asked.

GREEN BAY REMAINS THE TEAM TO BEAT IN THE NFC

As I write this in the moments after the reports of a deal, it’s unclear exactly how the Packers are structuring it to provide them with more cap room in 2022. Green Bay entered the off-season $26.4 million over the cap, the second-highest number in the NFL, but they obviously have structured the deal in a way that will give them the flexibility to at least keep core areas of the team together, a team that has been good enough to win 13 games each of the last three seasons.

Of course, Matthew Stafford and the Rams should still be formidable, but the 49ers are going with the unproven Trey Lance next season and the Cardinals are coming off a season in which they fell apart down the stretch and have some weird things going on with their QB. The Bucs no longer have Tom Brady. The Cowboys are in cap hell and could be losing major pieces of its team, the Cardinals fell apart and have a QB they’re not sure about, the Vikings are “led” by Kirk Cousins, and while their defense is great, the Saints don’t have a QB.

The Eagles undoubtedly have their own question marks too, including QB, but they also are perhaps better set up than any other team in the conference this off-season to get better. Outside of the Packers, of course.

DAVANTE ADAMS WILL NOT BE A FREE AGENT WR

The Eagles desperately need to add another talented wide receiver to the mix, whether that be through free agency or the draft. On the latest episode of Eye on the Enemy, Pro Football Network’s Mike Kaye mentioned Colts free agent Zach Pascal as a target, as well as Cardinals receiver Christian Kirk. Both would be solid upgrades.

However, some Eagles fans dreamed of Davante Adams hitting the market if Green Bay couldn’t afford to keep him. Or, at the very least, some team spending on Adams and leaving one fewer team to compete with for other players. Now, it appears as if Adams will be heading back to the Packers, taking one potential impact wide receiver off the free agent market, even if the odds were long the Birds would sign him.

AARON RODGERS WON’T BE THE EAGLES’ QB

We talk a lot about Russell Wilson and DeShaun Watson, but if Rodgers’ relationship with Green Bay had blown up, I suppose we would have had to add his name to the mix, too. Although the odds of a match between Philly and Rodgers would have been slim-to-none.

JORDAN LOVE ON THE BLOCK?

There seems to be little doubt Packers back-up QB Jordan Love will be on the move in the coming weeks.

The Packers’ decision to select Love with the 26th overall pick in the 2020 Draft was highly questionable at the time, and it now appears to be a disastrous one. Love has made one start with the Packers in his two years with the team, an uneven performance last year against the Chiefs in which he appeared to be a major work in progress.

Sure, the Eagles aren’t sure about Jalen Hurts, and there’s no doubt the team will pull the trigger on an upgrade should one become available. But we just haven’t seen enough of Love to spend draft capital on him to supplant Hurts. While Love probably wouldn’t command more than a 3rd or 4th-round pick in return, the Birds should let teams like the Broncos, Steelers or Commanders dive into the Love pool.

The Rodgers news certainly brings clarity to the NFC picture moving forward, although Green Bay’s ability to maintain a roster once Adams is off the franchise tag and Rodgers’ big money guarantees kick means the 2022 season could be the Pack’s last best chance to make a Super Bowl run.