Tom Horak | USA TODAY Sports

Aaron Rodgers says he was all but ready to retire before he entered the darkness.

We have to take the new Jets quarterback at his word. But we remain skeptical, given he had close to $60 million in guaranteed money coming his way this year. And if his reworked deal takes on the anticipated form, we are pre-emptively dismissing any rumors that may arise months from now.

From Pro Football Talk:

Per a league source with knowledge of the situation, the Jets and Rodgers continue to tweak the terms of his contract. The end result could be that Rodgers will make a two-year commitment in order to earn the full amount of the $108 million he’s due to make in 2023 and 2024 combined.

Rodgers was initially due a modest $1.165 salary in 2023, plus a $50,000 workout bonus and a $58.3 million option bonus that had to be paid out by Week 1. The option bonus was then converted into 2024 salary right before the Packers traded him to the Jets. Which means Rodgers is currently scheduled to make close to $108 million next season — the 2023 option bonus plus his pre-existing 2024 salary ($2.25 million) plus his 2024 option bonus ($47 million, which guarantees a few days after the Super Bowl).

What the Jets will likely end up doing is bringing some of the 2024 money back into 2023 to spread out the cap hits. But they will leave enough in 2024 that Rodgers is compelled to play. Where things will get particular interesting is if the Jets sweeten the pot at all in 2025 or ’26, the last two years on Rodgers’ deal.

Those two seasons are not void years, but they are also not years the Packers really expected Rodgers to ever play. His salaries are not guaranteed and the roster bonuses are only $5 million each year. But if Rodgers is feeling really frisky, maybe he will be OK with shifting real money into a third year?

James Kratch can be reached at Follow him on Twitter @jameskratch.

James Kratch is the managing editor of ESNY. He previously worked as a Rutgers and Giants (and Mike Francesa) beat reporter for NJ Advance Media.