Packers 2013 Salary Situation: Breaking Down Green Bay's Current Cap Status
As signings come in fast and furious—or in the Packers' case, whenever they damned well please—we'll be updating this as we go.
The Packers are not often free-spending participants in free agency, and have been quiet so far to start things off. They like to watch the market go nuts, then swoop in for quality at a low cost.
With the expected $123 million cap, the Packers have just over $16 million to play with according to Spotrac.com. It's not an incredibly high amount, but they've got enough for a few smart signings.
They'll bring a few folks back and probably approach some free agents from other teams. Let's take a quick look at where that money might go before we get into the actual signings over the next few days.
Breaking Down How They Can Spend Their Cap
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Although the Packers may prefer to give their money to players they already have, they will dip their toes into free agency. They may be quiet the first day or so, but they are always working.
This is how I see the $16 million being spent.
10% in house — Players like Tom Crabtree, Rob Francois and Cedric Benson. You can bump this up a bit if the rumored Greg Jennings signing happens tonight. Otherwise they don't have many free agents, and the ones they have are not expensive.
60% running back —The Packers have long been attached to players like Steven Jackson and now, Peyton Hillis per Adam Schefter. Assume Jackson is a more expensive option with more upside than Hillis, who is younger and cheaper but not a great fit scheme-wise.
Either way, if they make a "free agent splash," it will be here.
30% miscellaneous — As I said, I don't expect a lot of moves from the Packers because that's not usually how they operate. That said, they always add a few people here or there—so that's where this money comes in.
Of course, anything they don't spend is there later just in case.
As signings happen, check back here for the cap adjustments and analysis which will be added in following slides.
Packers Restructure Johnny Jolly's Contract
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Rob Demovsky of the Press-Gazette reported recently that the Packers restructured Johnny Jolly's contract. The recently reinstated Packers had signed a $2.521 million restricted free agent tender before being suspended in 2010.
The new figure is reported as being just $715,000.
Which is part of how they got to the $16 million in cap room they have to work with.
Does this mean Jolly has a secured spot on the team? Absolutely not—and in fact, it makes him easier to cut as they will have far less dead cap if they have to.
However, he will also be hungry to prove himself over the next five or six months before we reach the 2013 season.
Thoughts on Current Salary Cap: 3/19
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So another free agency period has begun and as always the Packers are right in the thick of things, throwing money around.
Oh wait, that's only when you play Madden.
In reality, the Packers once again didn't do much of anything.
Which, frustrating as it is, is probably the way to go.
A.J. Hawk took a pay cut, which according to the Press-Gazette, will lower his cost by $7.25 over the next three years.
Right now, according to Sean Jensen of the Chicago Sun-Times, the Packers are at $19.8 million under the cap.
I can hear your blood boiling from here and I understand it, but again, this might be the smart play. The Packers have numerous big contracts on the horizon—Clay Matthews, B.J. Raji and most importantly Aaron Rodgers among others—and can roll unused cap space over to next year.
Considering how big some of those contracts could be, it will be good to have that space—and more—so that they can frontload some of the cap hit on those players, thereby not being strangled by it for years.
For fans, that's pretty small solace right now.
It could be a pretty savvy move come this time next year though, especially if the Packers can do what they often do, and find a way to win without dropping huge truckloads of cash into big name free agents and hoping for the best.