It can't be understated how important the next 5 years are going to be in terms of how the Packers handle Aaron Rodgers during the latter part of his career.
Unless you've been living under a rock the past 4 months, you no doubt have noticed that there is a lot of change going on with the Packers organization on the whole. Change can be tough, especially when it happens to a steady, consistent team & front office like the Green Bay Packers of the past +10 years.
That being said, I believe there is a key underlying reason for the sweeping changes during what I have dubbed "the offseason of upheaval" at 1265 Lombardi Avenue. That reason: Aaron Rodgers.
Anyone with two eyes knows just how good a player Aaron Rodgers is. The case could be made that Rodgers should have been the league MVP in 2017 because of just how valuable he was to the Packers while he was out with his 2nd broken collar bone. No team in the league is more reliant on one player than the Packers are with respect to Aaron Rodgers. The team basically goes as he goes.
A troubling trend started rearing it's ugly head when Aaron Rodgers broke his collar bone - the team imploded and basically tanked. Mike McCarthy was exposed as a head coach way too reliant on out of this world QB play and Ted Thompson was exposed as a draft only GM who did next to nothing to help the team after the draft would take place. The Packers defense, led by Dom Capers, was greatly exposed as a weak link as well.
The core problem with the paragraph above is that you could interchange the 2013 season with the 2017 season. You would think that Ted Thompson & Mike McCarthy would've learned their lesson after the first collarbone gate saga back in 2013, but you would be wrong.
The Packers finally missed the play-offs in 2017 after 8 straight years and, as we all know, sweeping changes were made. But why were no substantive changes made the first time this happened in 2013? The simple answer: they had time. Aaron Rodgers had just turned 30 and he was still ascending (hard to be believe that a 30 year player can be ascending, but Aaron Rodgers is a once in a generation talent).
It is my firm belief that everyone at Lambeau Field freaked out after the 2017 season and went into super-urgency mode to prove to Aaron Rodgers that they aren't going to sit around and hope he can carry the entire team (hell, the entire franchise). While this is a welcome change to see, you can't go completely to the other side and acquiesce to one player. (SEE QB BRETT FAVRE LOL).
There are rumors and rumblings out there that the Packers are working on making Aaron Rodgers the leagues highest paid player - not just on the day he signs the contract but for the foreseeable future. There are rumors out there that point to Rodgers receiving a percentage of the yearly team salary cap as his base salary. This would ensure that Rodgers is the highest paid player for more than a hot minute after he signs his extension.
It can't be understated how important the next 5 years are going to be in terms of how the Packers handle Rodgers during the latter part of his career. Will they be obsessed with keeping him the highest player or will they make him well paid AND actually start to surround him with veteran talent? You can't have both and be successful in today's NFL. It's up to the Packers front office to sell Rodgers on this new regime and roster building philosophy...they can't simply throw the most money in league history at him and "hope" they can surround him with talent.