They’re probably next up on the Green Bay Packers‘ list of players who will receive contract extensions.
Not that any deals are imminent, but team president Mark Murphy indicated the future of all three are currently being considered even as the 2017 free-agent class is still being assembled.
It’s why general manager Ted Thompson and his chief contract negotiator, Russ Ball, might sit on the bulk of the $20 million-plus in salary-cap space they still have available for this season even after they added four veterans from other teams — Martellus Bennett, Lance Kendricks, Davon House and Ricky Jean Francois — and also made a high-priced re-signing in Nick Perry.
“You can’t just look at this year; you have to have a plan over a two-to-three-year period,” Murphy told reporters in Phoenix, where the NFL annual meetings got underway on Sunday evening. “Who are our core players that we’re going to need to sign? And we want to have money available for those signings, not just this year.”
In terms of timing, Adams and Clinton-Dix might be more pressing, but no one is more important than Rodgers. Even though the quarterback still has three years remaining on his five-year, $110 million extension that at the time made him the NFL’s highest-paid player, Rodgers now ranks fifth in the NFL among quarterbacks in terms of his $22 million average per year.
“Obviously Aaron is extremely important to the organization, and I know they have a plan for him,” Murphy said. “Ha Ha Clinton-Dix and you’ve got others, Davante Adams, that are coming up towards the end of their contracts as well.”
While Rodgers is under contract through 2019, Adams and Clinton-Dix — along with fellow 2014 draft picks Corey Linsley and Richard Rodgers — are entering the final seasons of their rookie deals, although the Packers could exercise the fifth-year option on Clinton-Dix that all first-round draft picks have in their deals. They would have to do that with Clinton-Dix by early May, and then they’d have him under contract through 2018.
The Packers have never picked up a fifth-year option since the system went into place for first-round picks taken after the 2011 Collective Bargaining Agreement, but Clinton-Dix almost certainly will either have his exercised or will get an extension.
As for Rodgers, Murphy offered no timetable on a new deal.
“That’s something that like I said before, Ted and Russ work through those things,” Murphy said. “And I’m confident they’ll make the right decision.”
ESPN’s Kevin Seifert contributed to this report.