The Green Bay Packers don’t have much spendable cap space remaining, but here are a few ways that they can create some additional room.
After signing Za’Darius Smith, Preston Smith, Adrian Amos, and Billy Turner last offseason, this offseason has been far less eventful for the Green Bay Packers. But as GM Brian Gutekunst told us, that was to be expected.
Up to this point, the Packers have signed linebacker Christian Kirksey to a two year – $13 million contract according to Spotrac. And they also found Bryan Bulaga’s replacement at right tackle in Rick Wagner on a two year – $11 million deal. On top of that, they would also re-sign Marcedes Lewis and Will Redmond, along with their exclusive rights free agents.
And while none of these deals break the bank by any means, with the Green Bay Packers already limited cap space, these additions and re-signings take away just about all of their spendable cap space at the moment.
According to CPA and Packers’ salary cap guru, Ken Ingalls, after taking into account Green Bay’s top-51 contracts, they have $12,487,274 in cap space available. However, there are additional expenses that we have to take into account.
The first being for this year’s upcoming draft class. Green Bay also has to set aside money for in-season transactions, so if they want to sign a player in 2020 like Jared Veldheer or Tyler Ervin for example, they are able to do so. There is also money that has to be available for the practice squad, as well as the 52nd and 53rd players on the roster.
Add it all up, and by Ken’s calculations, that is $12,586,296 that the Packers should have in available reserves. Meaning, if we subtract that total from the available cap space number that is mentioned above, Green Bay is actually in the hole $99,022 in terms of spendable cap space by Ken’s estimations.
Now, I promise you that it isn’t all doom and gloom. While that reserve number is just an estimation, regardless, the Packers are still tight against the cap when it comes to what they can actually spend. However, there are ways that they can create more space.
The first and most notable option that many are talking about is moving on from Lane Taylor. With that said, while many are quick to think that Green Bay should just flat-out cut Taylor, he is an experienced NFL guard who has played well in the past. And at worst, the Packers should be able to net a Day 3 draft pick for him. But I digress, either way, Green Bay will be able to save roughly $4.1 million in cap space if they decide to cut or trade Taylor.
Another option is that the Packers could offer contract extensions to some upcoming free agents. This list includes David Bakhtiari, Kenny Clark, and Corey Linsley who will all be free agents after the 2020 season. And another name to keep your eyes in is Davante Adams who will be a free agent after the 2021 season.
By offering these extensions, it would lock up a key player or two for some additional years while also freeing up more cap space in 2020.
Lastly, Za’Darius Smith comes with a roster bonus in 2020 of $9.5 million, and that is something that the Packers could convert to free up more space as well.
Now having said all of that, keep in mind that if Green Bay does decide to offer a contract extension or convert some of Smith’s roster bonus, it doesn’t just magically free up cap space. Instead, it kicks the can down the road and eats up more cap space in future years.
However, with the NFL’s ever-expanding salary cap, making those extra dollars work in future years may be easier than what it is now. But of course, this still needs to be taken into consideration.
Ultimately, while there are ways for the Green Bay Packers to create cap space, we shouldn’t be expecting any big moves at this point. Rather, if they do decide to make any other additions, it will likely be a middle-tier free agent or some inexpensive players like Marcedes Lewis that will be signed. And any major upgrades will have to be made through the draft.
So just like Gutey told us, this offseason isn’t going to be like the last one.