With Green Bay Packers Salary Cap, it’s all about Tradeoffs

The Green Bay Packers are facing another offseason filled with difficult financial decisions–although, unlike last year, they may not be able to keep the band together.

Over the Cap currently projects the Packers at $40.13 million over the $208.2 million salary cap. However, that figure is a bit modest. Ken Ingalls, who independently tracks Green Bay’s salary cap, has them at $51.46 million over, and that figure still doesn’t include other expenses such as the incoming draft class, the 52nd or 53 players on the roster, in-season reserves, or the practice squad–you get the idea.

So given the Green Bay Packers salary cap situation, many are expecting a lot of roster turnover this offseason. And that could certainly be the case, as I wrote about recently.

But as we’ve seen in the past, there are ways for teams to create cap space through contract extensions, contract restructures, veteran cuts, and if absolutely needed, adding voidable years to a player’s contract, just as Green Bay did several times in 2021.

In terms of getting under the salary cap, the Green Bay Packers certainly have the means to do so via the avenues just mentioned, but what does that do to the overall roster?

It’s certainly easy to get fixated on who won’t be here rather than who will, but as this offseason unfolds, it’s important to keep in mind that when discussing the salary cap, it’s all about give and take.

It seems like many are assuming Davante Adams won’t be back, which very well could be the case, but if the Green Bay Packers want to re-sign him and extend Aaron Rodgers as well, they can make it work. Now, the tradeoff with those moves is that Rasul Douglas and De’Vondre Campbell likely won’t be back, and some additional cuts, such as to Preston Smith, Za’Darius Smith, and perhaps someone like Billy Turner, may have to be made as well.

On the flip side, if Green Bay lets Adams head to free agency and they also trade Rodgers, now they may have the freedom to bring back Douglas and/or Campbell and don’t have to cut players like P. Smith, Turner, or Dean Lowry.

These are obviously two of the more extreme examples, but essentially pick any player, or perhaps a combination of players, and if the Green Bay Packers want them back, they can find a way. But as we pointed out, there’s always going to be tradeoff—you can’t keep everyone.

If Campbell is back, what additional cuts or restructures had to take place to create cap room? If Douglas isn’t re-signed does that mean Green Bay doesn’t have to cut P. Smith or Adrian Amos?

Yes, the Green Bay Packers salary cap situation is tight, and it’s going to take some serious financial gymnastics from Brian Gutekunst and Russ Ball to not only get under the cap but to limit the roster turnover as well. But from a financial standpoint, there isn’t a player on this roster that Green Bay can’t bring back–the question then becomes, what are the corresponding moves to make it work?