By now, we are all well versed in the fact that the Green Bay Packers are well over the salary cap.
In short, they are almost $51 million over the projected salary cap, according to Over the Cap, not to mention that this figure doesn’t take into account other expenses such as the incoming draft class, the practice squad, any free-agent additions, any of their own free agents they may bring back, along with having in-season cap space available.
When all of those other costs are factored in, Ken Ingalls, the salary cap aficionado, projects that the Green Bay Packers need to clear $70.3 million by the time the 2022 season rolls around.
But for this exercise, we will operate under the assumption that they at least need to clear the $50.7 million since that’s the figure that must be taken care of prior to free agency beginning, which is less than a month from now.
In a recent article, I covered 18 different moves that the Packers could make to get under the salary cap, so now I will be making my prediction in how I believe they will actually go about it.
Note: All extension and restructure savings are projections from Over the Cap
Green Bay Packers Extend Aaron Rodgers
Projected Cap Savings: $21.09 million
We still don’t know what Aaron Rodgers is going to decide, but it sure seems like he is coming back. He has spoken very highly about his relationship with Brian Gutekunst specifically, and on top of that, Tom Clements is coming out of retirement to be the Green Bay Packers QB coach. Clements was with the Packers in several roles from 2006 to 2016 — including QB coach and OC — and Rodgers has credited Tom with helping his development early on, not to mention that Rodgers often speaks very highly of Clements.
So I do believe that Rodgers will return. Also, an important aspect in all of this, Green Bay does give him his best chance to reach and win another Super Bowl. 2022 is the final year of Rodgers’ deal, and it comes with a $46.6 million cap hit–so you can bet that if he does return, he won’t be playing on this contract.
Reports suggest that the Packers are willing to offer Rodgers a two-year extension that will pay him in the $45 million per year range. Those years and dollars will be added on to his current contract, along with some potential void years at the end of the deal, which will allow Green Bay to spread his cap hits out even more–thus helping to lower the cap hit in 2022.