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Aaron Rodgers signs new Green Bay Packers contract

After receiving a five-year, $66 million contract last week, linebacker Clay Matthews crowed about the low-key nature of contract negotiations between the Green Bay Packers and their core players.

While the rest of the NFL was concentrating on the 2013 NFL Draft, the Packers announced a contract extension with quarterback Aaron Rodgers on Friday.

NFL.com's Ian Rapoport reported that Rodgers shattered Joe Flacco's six-year, $120.6 million contract as the highest-paid player in football. The new contract, which runs through the 2019 season, is for $110 million over five years, according to Rapoport, with $62 million in the first three years and a whopping $40 million in the first year. Rodgers' $22 million average beats Flacco's annual salary of $20.1 million.

"I'm very thankful to the organization for making this happen," Rodgers said Friday on NFL Network. "I'm excited about the opportunity they've given me to finish out my career in Green Bay -- seven more years left on my deal -- and excited about the prospects we have here in Green Bay."

Rodgers told a group of reporters in the Packers' locker room Friday that he was humbled to be the highest-paid player in the NFL, according to the Green Bay Press-Gazette. Rodgers added that his camp started talking to the Packers about an extension this offseason, and the new contract is one that is pleasing to both sides. Rodgers later took to Twitter to thank the organization.

Rapoport also reported the Packers and Rodgers spent a long time working out figures in the two remaining years on Rodgers' current contract.

Another key part of Rodgers' contract is that his salary-cap figure never is more than $21 million in a season, Rapoport reported. Flacco, on the other hand, has a cap number that reaches $29 million in the fourth year of his new contract.

The most valuable player in the NFL since taking the baton from Brett Favre, Rodgers boasts an impressive 46-16 record over the past four seasons while tossing 142 touchdown passes against 32 interceptions. No other quarterback matches his combination of arm strength, accuracy, mobility and football acumen.

With Matthews and Rodgers now under contract for the next half-decade, expect Packers general manager Ted Thompson to turn his attention to nose tackle B.J. Raji. There's a lesson to be learned here. The Packers draft and develop as well as any team in the NFL. The key to sustained success, though, is in maintaining stability by keeping nucleus players as opposed to importing mercenaries in free agency.

Follow Chris Wesseling on Twitter @ChrisWesseling.

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