To put Aaron Rodgers' pay day in perspective, the Green Bay Packers quarterback will make an epic $40 million next season. That's more than the Houston Astros' entire payroll. Rodgers is flush with cash, but he hasn't forgotten his humble origins.
When Rodgers spoke with NFL Network shortly after signing his five-year, $110 million contract extension Friday, Rich Eisen asked the star passer to reflect on his harrowing draft-day stay in the green room eight years ago.
Said Eisen: "If you had gone up to that young man, in that green room -- you -- in 2005, and told him, 'Don't worry, you're going to have the most lucrative contract extension in the history of the National Football League. Keep your head up.' What would you have said to that person?"
" 'Yeah, right,' " Rodgers joked. "It's funny to me to look back, eight years ago, I was in that green room, wondering if there was a team that wanted to take a chance on me. Green Bay did, I got to sit behind a legend (Brett Favre) for three years and learn the game. Then I got an opportunity, and seven games into my first year as a starter, I was given a contract extension by the Packers, and (I) feel like we've accomplished some great things in the last five years."
Rodgers went out of his way Thursday night to lift up West Virginia quarterback Geno Smith, who endured a long wait of his own before the New York Jets came calling. "Hang in there Geno," Rodgers tweeted, before citing former NFL Commissioner Paul Tagliabue's words to Rodgers back in 2005: "Good things come to those who wait."
For Rodgers, at least, those words were prophetic.
Follow Marc Sessler on Twitter @MarcSesslerNFL.