NFL

Aaron Rodgers agreement expected to accommodate 2022 departure

By Sports Desk July 26, 2021

Aaron Rodgers seems set to remain with Green Bay but only for his 'Last Dance'.

After an offseason dominated by Rodgers' desire to leave the Packers – his only team – Monday brought widespread reports of an imminent agreement between the two parties.

But a deal is likely to be structured in a way that would allow veteran quarterback Rodgers to depart in 2022 if he remains unhappy.

ESPN's Adam Schefter, who said the deal "is not done but it is close", reported a new agreement would set up a move for the end of the coming season.

On a "list of concessions" is the Packers' agreement "to review Rodgers' situation at the end of this season".

Schefter added "the biggest concession" was "the freedom to decide where he wants to play in 2022".

Crucially, that may still be enough to keep Davante Adams on board, with discussions with the disgruntled wide receiver to continue.

Rodgers and Adams last week posted the same image of Michael Jordan and Scottie Pippen on their Instagram stories, apparently hinting at a 'Last Dance'.

The pair continued to excel in 2020, with Rodgers targeting Adams with 147 of his 526 throws in an MVP campaign.

Rodgers put up career highs in passing touchdowns (48) and passing yards (4,299) and ranked third in both well-thrown percentage (82.4) and pickable pass percentage (2.23). No rival QB beat Rodgers in both categories.

Meanwhile, Adams' 18 receiving TDs led the league, with his 115 catches and 1,374 receiving yards ranking second and fifth.

He made the most of Rodgers' elite passing by winning 70.1 per cent of his match-ups with defenders and getting open on 81.0 per cent of targets, with only two dropped catches.

A long-awaited breakthrough in talks with Rodgers, who appeared set to skip training camp, was hinted at in the Packers' annual shareholders meeting earlier on Monday.

"He's our leader and we're looking forward to winning another Super Bowl," said president Mark Murphy.

General manager Brian Gutekunst added: "We have been working tirelessly with Aaron and his representatives to resolve the issues [Rodgers has raised], and we are hopeful for a positive resolution."

Discussions reportedly took place over the weekend to reach a point where a deal was close as the team's front office faced the media.

As well as reviewing Rodgers' situation, the agreement will see the last year of his contract – 2023 – voided, with no tags allowed in future.

"Mechanisms will be put in place to address Rodgers' issues with the team," Schefter added, with Rodgers insisting earlier in the offseason his problems were deeper rooted than last year's selection of heir apparent Jordan Love with a first-round pick.

An extended stay for Adams – currently a year out from unrestricted free agency – would be accommodated by the adjustment of Rodgers' contract "with no loss of income to give the Packers more cap room now".

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    Osaka eased past Camila Osorio and Madison Brengle in straight sets in the first two rounds but fell to a 4-6 6-3 7-6 (10-5) loss to Anisimova in a thrilling contest.

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    Two-time Australian Open winner Osaka had won 24 of her past 25 matches in Melbourne and made a fast start against Anisimova by breaking her opponent in the first game.

    She held serve to ease ahead on Margaret Court Arena, but Anisimova battled back well in the second set.

    The world number 60 broke Osaka in the fourth game with a sublime disguised backhand drop and served out the set in a relatively straightforward manner.

    Anisimova continued to dig in and saved two match points in the 10th game to help pave the way for a decisive first-to-10 tie-break.

    Osaka had no response to her opponent's accurate hitting as she fell 3-0 behind and, while she did bring it back to 3-2 and 5-4, Anisimova took five of the next six points to advance in a big upset.

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    But the American youngster fired in 11 aces and hit more than twice the number of winners that Osaka managed (46 to 21) to pull off the victory.

    With this defeat, Osaka has now failed to defend any of her four major crowns, with Victoria Azarenka the last women's player to do so at Melbourne Park in 2012 and 2013.

    WINNERS/UNFORCED ERRORS
    Anisimova – 46/44
    Osaka – 21/45

    ACES/DOUBLE FAULTS
    Anisimova – 11/8
    Osaka – 5/3

    BREAK POINTS WON
    Anisimova – 1/8
    Osaka – 1/10

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    Anisimova, who won her second career title at Melbourne Summer Set 2 earlier this month and is now 8-0 for the season, will face top seed Ash Barty in the last 16.

    Two-time Australian Open winner Osaka had won 24 of her past 25 matches in Melbourne and made a fast start against Anisimova by breaking her opponent in the first game.

    She held serve to ease ahead on Margaret Court Arena, but Anisimova battled back well in the second set.

    The world number 60 broke Osaka in the fourth game with a sublime disguised backhand drop and served out the set in a relatively straightforward manner.

    Anisimova continued to dig in and saved two match points in the 10th game to help pave the way for a decisive first-to-10 tie-break.

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    Giorgi – 8/24

    ACES/DOUBLE FAULTS
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    Giorgi – 0/5

    BREAK POINTS WON
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