Rodgers gets record-size deal
The Associated Press
MILWAUKEE — Before he became the NFL’s highest-paid player again, Aaron Rodgers wore a denim suit and cowboy hat that made him look as if he were going to serve as a chaperone at a square dance.
For Rodgers, it’s kind of a big deal either way.
The two-time NFL MVP signed a four-year extension with the Green Bay Packers on Wednesday that would keep him under contract through the 2023 season.
The four-year deal is worth $134 million, with more than $100 million in guaranteed money. Rodgers’ former teammate, NFL Network analyst James Jones, first reported the agreement.
Rodgers’ new annual average salary of $33.5 million per year would eclipse Atlanta Falcons quarterback Matt Ryan’s five-year extension worth $30 million a year.
“Looking forward to making some more memorable moments this year, and for years to come,” Rodgers posted on an Instagram in a thank you message to the organization, teammates and fans.
Rodgers turns 35 in December. He signed his previous extension, a five-year deal worth $110 million, before the 2013 season.
Rodgers had fallen behind in the ever-escalating world of NFL salaries since then, making him a relative bargain. He never voiced concern about his compensation. Both general manager Brian Gutekunst and Rodgers had expressed confidence that a new deal would get done.
Pack deal backup
MILWAUKEE — The Seattle Seahawks and Green Bay Packers are heading into the 2018 season with new backup quarterbacks.
The Seahawks acquired quarterback Brett Hundley from the Packers on Wednesday for an undisclosed draft pick.
The addition of Hundley gives Seattle a proven backup behind Russell Wilson. The Seahawks are reportedly sending a late-round draft pick to Green Bay.
Hundley stepped into a starting role last season for the Packers when Rodgers went down with a broken collarbone. Hundley started nine games and the Packers went 3-6. He threw for 1,836 yards and nine touchdowns, but also threw 12 interceptions.
His acquisition likely means the end of Austin Davis’ stint as Wilson’s backup in Seattle. Davis has been with the Seahawks since the start of the 2017 season.
In Green Bay, the deal means that DeShone Kizer has won the backup job behind Rodgers.
The former second-round pick started 15 games for the winless Cleveland Browns last season as a rookie and was acquired by the Packers in the offseason.
Saints, Jets do deal
NEW ORLEANS — The New Orleans Saints acquired veteran quarterback Teddy Bridgewater and a sixth-round pick from the New York Jets for a third-round draft pick.
While record-setting quarterback Drew Brees is entrenched as New Orleans’ starter, the move signifies that Saints coach Sean Payton was not entirely comfortable with either veteran Tom Savage or second-year pro Taysom Hill serving as Brees’ backup.
The Saints have their sights set on Super Bowl contention after coming within one play of reaching the NFC title game last season.
The reigning Super Bowl champion Philadelphia Eagles demonstrated the importance of a solid backup quarterback in 2017, winning a championship after Nick Foles had to replace injured starter Carson Wentz.
The trade brings more clarity to the Jets’ quarterback situation. It appears rookie Sam Darnold is the starter after being given every opportunity to win the job in a competition that included Bridgewater and incumbent Josh McCown.
LB in trouble
CLEVELAND — Cleveland Browns linebacker Mychal Kendricks was released by the NFL team Wednesday night, hours after he was charged by federal prosecutors in Philadelphia with insider trading.
Kendricks, who signed a one-year contract with the Browns in June after winning a Super Bowl title last season with the Eagles, allegedly used tips from an acquaintance to make about $1.2 million in illegal profits on four major trading deals, federal prosecutors said.
The 27-year-old issued a statement earlier in the day admitting to his guilt and apologizing. He expressed regret and accepted “full responsibility” for his actions.
However, the Browns, who are in Detroit tonight for an exhibition game, decided after learning more about the case that they couldn’t go forward with Kendricks, who was going to start for the team.