Latest Salary Cap Breakdown for the Green Bay Packers

Michael DulkaContributor IFebruary 15, 2013

Latest Salary Cap Breakdown for the Green Bay Packers

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    The Green Bay Packers are set to face a challenging offseason of difficult decisions that will determine the direction of the franchise. The Packers cap situation will play a big role in how the Packers deal with certain players and their contracts. 

    Also, the Packers are coming up on much-needed extensions for Aaron Rodgers, Clay Matthews and B.J. Raji. Those contracts will likely cost the Packers an incredible amount of money, and they will have to get creative in regards to how they will spend the rest of their cap space this offseason. 

    Overall, though, the Packers enter the offseason in decent financial shape for next season. That said, the Packers need to start preparing for the next few seasons. 

    Here is a look at those who are under contract on the Green Bay Packers roster for 2013, position-by-position, along with their projected cap numbers.

     

    (All cap figures are courtesy of www.spotrac.com)

Quarterbacks

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    Aaron Rodgers: $9,750,000

    Graham Harrell: $630,000

    Total: $10,380,000


    Aaron Rodgers is severely underpaid, and with two years left on his deal, the Packers have to be thinking about spending the big bucks on their franchise quarterback. Joe Flacco's situation with the Baltimore Ravens is something to watch for both Rodgers and the Packers this offseason. As the best quarterback in the game, Rodgers' salary shouldn't be so low and it will certainly go up. 

    The Packers have B.J. Coleman on the practice squad, but neither Coleman nor Harrell have done much to show that they deserve backup spots. The Packers could look to use the draft in order to bring a quarterback that is better suited to serve as Rodgers' backup. 

Running Backs

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    John Kuhn: $2,543,750

    Alex Green: $691,250 

    James Starks: $655,075

    DuJuan Harris: $555,000

    Brandon Saine: $555,000

    Total: $5,000,075


    The Packers don't have very much money committed to the running back position, but they got a lot of production down the stretch from DuJuan Harris last season. The young, emerging running back should be featured more in 2013, but the Packers could still look to upgrade the position via free agency. 

    Cedric Benson's contract is up, and he likely won't be back in Green Bay. The best free agent options at this point are Reggie Bush or Ahmad Bradshaw, but it's unlikely that the Packers will sign either player. The more likely scenario is that the Packers will draft a running back to compliment what they already have in place. 

Wide Receivers

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    Jordy Nelson: $3,975,000

    James Jones: $3,750,000

    Randall Cobb: $875,297

    Jarrett Boykin: $480,000

    Jeremy Ross: $480,000

    Total: $9,500,297


    The Packers will see a changing of the guard at the wide receiver position in 2013. Donald Driver is gone after he announced his retirement, and Greg Jennings will likely leave as a free agent this offseason.

    Jennings' and Driver's respective contracts coming off the books leaves the Packers in good shape in terms of finances at the position, though, and they still have a lot of young talent to add to their talented and experienced trio of Nelson, Cobb and Jones. 

    That said, the Packers have shown a desire to surround Aaron Rodgers with incredible talent. Without one of his favorite targets (Jennings) next season, the Packers could look to give Rodgers a younger and less expensive weapon to go along with the solid receiving corps that the Packers already possess. 

Tight Ends

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    Jermichael Finley: $8,750,000

    Andrew Quarless: $1,368,606

    D.J. Williams: $604,500

    Ryan Taylor: $569,794

    Total: $11,292,900


    The Packers tight end situation rests on the future of Finley as well as the health of Quarless' knee. According the the Milwaukeee Journal Sentinel, Finley believes that there is only a "50/50" chance that he will be back in Green Bay next season. His departure would leave the Packers with two unproven tight ends and an injury-riddled Quarless, who hasn't played in a game since Dec. 4, 2011. 

    Even if they keep Finley, he will be in the last year of his contract in 2013, so the Packers would be wise to draft another tight end in April. How strongly the Packers pursue a tight end this offseason will largely depend on their plans for Finley, both this season and into the future. 

Offensive Line

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    Josh Sitton: $5,550,000

    T.J. Lang: $3,100,000

    Bryan Bulaga: $2,125,500

    Derek Sherrod:  $1,800,546

    Marshall Newhouse: $1,360,462

    Brett Goode: $821,250

    Don Barclay: $480,833

    Greg Van Roten: $480,000

    Kevin Hughes: $480,000

    Jordan Miller: $480,000

    Total: $16,678,591


    The Packers have some needs along the offensive line. They weren't physical enough as a team, and, too often, they got beat in the trenches. They did a much better job down the stretch of the 2012 season, though, when Evan Dietrich-Smith took over at center. The restricted free agent will likely be re-signed by the Packers. 

    The biggest question mark for the Packers offensive line is at left tackle. While Bulaga should comeback from a hip injury and hold down the right tackle spot well, Newhouse hasn't proven that he can be significant player for the Packers on the other side. Furthermore, it's unknown where Sherrod—the team's first-round pick in 2011—is in terms of his rehab from a broken leg that he suffered during his rookie season.

    There's definitely room for the Packers to improve or add depth along the offensive line this offseason, whether it be through the draft or free agency. 

Defensive Line

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    Ryan Pickett: $6,700,000

    B.J. Raji: $6,595,000

    Mike Neal: $920,000

    Jerel Worthy: $897,319

    C.J. Wilson: $642,590

    Mike Daniels:  $555,146

    Total: $16,310,055


    The Packers need to improve along the defensive line, despite having a ton of money already tied up to the unit. This issue should become even more problematic for the Packers next year, as B.J. Raji is set to get a sizable extension after the 2013 season. Pickett's contract also ends after next season, but given his age, his price should come down and the team should be able to bring him back for 2014. 

    Still, the Packers need to get production outside of Pickett and Raji. Also, if Worthy is set to be out for a portion of the 2013 season with his ACL injury, the Packers need to bring in some reinforcements. Daniels, Wilson and Neal haven't gotten it done, either, and they need to improve in order to secure their roster spots. 

Linebackers

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    A.J. Hawk: $7,050,000

    Clay Matthews: $4,910,000

    Desmond Bishop: $4,764,000

    Nick Perry: $1,704,375

    D.J. Smith: $555,000

    Jamari Lattimore:  $556,667

    Terrell Manning: $522,870

    Dezman Moses: $481,166

    Total: $20,544,078


    The Packers have more money tied to the linebacker position than any other position on the roster, but that makes sense for a 3-4 defense that relies so much on their linebackers to make plays. Unfortunately, the Packers haven't received enough impact plays from the linebacker position in recent years, and that could signal changes for the unit this offseason. For example, Hawk doesn't deserve to be paid over $7 million in any given year, and he could be a roster cut before the 2013 campaign begins.

    The Packers have gotten strong play from Bishop and Smith in the middle of their defense, and free agent Brad Jones will likely be brought back for depth at the position. With regard to the outside linebacker position, the Packers are in good shape, despite Matthews needing an extension very soon. Moses provides great value for the Packers, demonstrated by his strong play in place of the injured Nick Perry last season.

Defensive Backs

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    Charles Woodson: $9,437,500

    Tramon Williams: $8,500,000

    Jarrett Bush: $1,783,333

    Morgan Burnett: $1,541,775

    Casey Hayward: $752,201

    Davon House: $630,145

    M.D. Jennings:  $555,833

    Jerron McMillan: $555,146

    Sean Richardson: $481,667

    Total: $24,237,600


    Between the safeties and the cornerbacks, the Packers have a good amount of money tied up to these two respective positions. They do have young cornerbacks that are giving the Packers great value with their inexpensive contracts, but the hefty contracts of Woodson and Williams don't seem to be worth it at this point. 

    Woodson, with a 2013 cap hit over $9 million, shouldn't be back with the team unless he takes a significant pay cut. His $9 million salary could be better spent elsewhere. Williams is another player that could be expendable because of his high price tag. The Packers will likely look for depth at cornerback in the draft. 

Special Teams

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    Mason Crosby: $3,150,000

    Tim Masthay: $1,105,000

    Total: $4,255,000


    The Packers have a lot of money committed to Mason Crosby. Factoring in his struggles down the stretch, the Packers should bring in competition for training camp. If the Packers can find another kicker that is successful in camp, they could save a lot of money by cutting Crosby. 

    Masthay's contract is deserved as he's becoming one of the top punters in the league. He's gotten better each year and continues to deliver for the Packers. 

Summary

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    Quarterbacks: $10,380,000

    Running backs: $5,000,075

    Wide Receivers: $9,500,297

    Tight Ends: $11,292,900

    Offensive Line: $16,678,591

    Defensive Line: $16,310,055

    Linebackers: $20,544,078

    Defensive Backs: $24,237,600

    Special Teams: $4,255,000

     

    Total: $118,198,596