Packers ‘optimistic’ about completing contract extension for QB Aaron Rodgers this offseason

Mark Murphy remains confident that a contract extension for quarterback Aaron Rodgers will get done this offseason.

Speaking at the NFL owners’ meetings Sunday night, the Green Bay Packers president told reporters that, even in the wake of the fully guaranteed, three-year, $84-million deal the Minnesota Vikings gave Kirk Cousins earlier this month, he believes the two sides will find common ground before the season starts.

“It’s obviously fairly recent,” Murphy said about the Cousins’ contract. “I’m still very optimistic we’ll get a deal done.”

Rodgers still has two years left on a contract extension he signed in 2014 that made him the highest-paid quarterback in the NFL at $22 million per year. But that deal is no longer paying him at the market rate. In fact, he’s now the ninth-highest paid quarterback, with the likes of Joe Flacco, Alex Smith, Derek Carr and Jimmy Garoppolo all making more.

How Rodgers’ contract extension will be structured is something everyone in the league is keeping an eye on. As the salary cap rises, some have suggested that a player’s contract could be tied to a certain percentage of the cap. It would mean the deal Rodgers signs later this summer won’t be topped right away by Matt Ryan of the Atlanta Falcons or the next quarterback up.

While Murphy said he doesn’t foresee the team going in that direction, the deal Rodgers signs has the chance to be historic.

“We want Aaron to be a Packer for the rest of his career. He wants to play until he’s 40,” Murphy said. “It makes sense for both sides to figure out a way to get it done.”

Report: Packers extend coach Mike McCarthy’s contract

Green Bay Packers coach Mike McCarthy has had his contract extended.

According to ESPN’s Rob Demovsky, the team extended his deal by one year and it now runs through the 2019 season. The extension, according to Demovsky, happened during the season and has no connection to the news that general manager Ted Thompson’s tenure is over.

McCarthy has won six division titles, been to the NFC title game four times and won the Super Bowl in 2010. At 7-9, this season was the first time the Packers had missed the playoffs under McCarthy since 2008, and it’s just the second time in his 12 years they’ve had a sub. 500 record.

The decision to extend McCarthy’s deal does not guarantee he’ll be the coach in 2018. It’s possible, and potentially likely, that the new general manager will want his own coach. However, if the new GM comes from inside the organization, that could end up being a good things for McCarthy’s chances of sticking around.

Packers start search for new GM as Ted Thompson moves into a different role

It’s official.

Ted Thompson is no longer the Green Bay Packers general manager.

The franchise made the announcement Tuesday morning, a day after news broke of the decision to move on from Thompson. He will stay with the franchise as a senior advisor to football operations.

“It’s been a great honor to serve as the Green Bay Packers’ general manager for the past 13 years. This is a special place and we’ve had some success along the way, but it’s the relationships that I value most,” Thompson said in a press release. “I’ve been fortunate to have worked with many dedicated people throughout the organization and I can’t thank Mark Murphy, Mike McCarthy, the football-operations staff and our scouts enough for their friendship and support.

“Additionally, I want to thank every player that has stepped on the field for us. This is the players’ game and I appreciate all the sacrifices they have made for the Packers. I look forward to supporting this team in my new role as we strive to win another championship.”

President/CEO Mark Murphy thanked Thompson for his time with the franchise that included six NFC North titles, nine playoff appearances, three NFC Championship Games and one Super Bowl title.

“I want to thank Ted for his tireless efforts as the general manager of the Green Bay Packers for these past 13 seasons,” Murphy said in the release. “Fortunately, Ted will remain involved in our personnel department as we work to win another championship. We will begin an immediate search for the next general manager of the Green Bay Packers.”

Murphy will address the media early Tuesday afternoon.

Packers issue a statement in response to President Trump’s anthem comments

Green Bay Packers president/CEO Mark Murphy issued a statement in response to comments made Friday night by President Donald Trump at a campaign rally in which he called for NFL players to be “fired” for not standing during the national anthem.

“It’s unfortunate that the President decided to use his immense platform to make divisive and offensive statements about our players and the NFL. We strongly believe that players are leaders in our communities and positive influences. They have achieved their positions through tremendous work and dedication and should be celebrated for their success and positive impact. We believe it is important to support any of our players who choose to peacefully express themselves with the hope of change for good. As Americans, we are fortunate to be able to speak openly and freely.”’

The comments that Murphy and leaders of other NFL teams felt needed to be addressed included Trump saying, “Wouldn’t you love to see one of these NFL owners, when somebody disrespects our flag, to say, ‘Get that son of a bitch off the field right now. Out! He’s fired. He’s fired!”

To this point, no players on the Packers have taken a knee or been seated during the anthem, though tight end Martellus Bennett held his first in the air prior to the season opener against Seattle as his form of protest. However, several took to Twitter on Saturday to show their displeasure with Trump’s words.

“I’m OK with being fired for what I believe in,” wrote Bennett.

Teammate Davante Adams, who uses his Twitter account sparingly, also commented.

“We’ll “stick to football” when we see progress,” the wide receiver wrote. “Our Nations leader can’t even set a good example of how it looks to be a great American.”

Green Bay will host Cincinnati at Lambeau Field on Sunday.