Quarterback Aaron Rodgers and the Green Bay Packers have reached agreement on a five-year contract extension that will pay Rodgers $110 million in addition to the $20.75 million remaining on the final two years of his current contract.
The $22 million annual average for Rodgers puts him ahead of Ravens quarterback Joe Flacco. The Super Bowl MVP signed a contract in March that averages $21.6 million per year.
“Aaron is a true professional and a special player,” said general manager Ted Thompson in a statement released by the Packers. “He works hard, is humble, and is focused on his actions, on and off the field. He is an excellent teammate and pushes himself and others to be the very best. We are happy to reach an agreement to extend his career with the Packers.”
Rodgers’ contract will reportedly include $40 million total in the first year and runs through the 2019 season, when he will be 36 years old.
Rodgers was drafted by Thompson in 2005. He was the 24th pick in that draft and served as Brett Favre’s backup for his first three seasons in the NFL. Packers head coach Mike McCarthy was offensive coordinator in San Francisco in 2005 and closely evaluated Rodgers and Utah quarterback Alex Smith, the player the 49ers ultimately drafted No. 1 overall in 2005.
The Packers are 53-27 in Rodgers’ five years as a starter, and he led them to the Super Bowl title following the 2010 season.
“An exciting day for our football program,” McCarthy said. “Aaron is an excellent illustration of a Green Bay Packer. It is truly a blessing to witness his continued accomplishments, both on and off the field.”
His quarterback rating of 122.5 in 2011 is an NFL record.
In 2012, Rodgers completed 65.7 percent of his passes with 39 touchdowns and eight interceptions. He had a quarterback rating of 108.0.
— The Pittsburgh Steelers agreed to terms with unrestricted free agent running back LaRod Stephens-Howling, the team announced. Financial terms of the one-year deal were not disclosed.
Stephens-Howling has three career kickoff returns for touchdowns. In 2012, he played in 14 games, including five starts, and rushed for 357 yards for the Arizona Cardinals.
— Kansas City Chiefs general manager John Dorsey said trade talks with the Miami Dolphins involving franchise-tagged left tackle Branden Albert were on again.
Left to resolve are matters of compensation. Albert is guaranteed $9.8 million in 2013 due to the franchise designation applied by the Chiefs and wants a new contract if he’s dealt.
To get him from the Chiefs, the Dolphins would have to part with multiple draft picks or a veteran.
— ESPN and NFL Network combined to average a 5.9 overnight Nielsen rating in first round coverage of the NFL Draft on Thursday night, according to Sports Business Daily.
The rating was the same as last year and tied for second-best first round overnight, behind 2010, the first year the draft aired in primetime.