Green Bay Packers general manager Brian Gutekunst did not try to hide the obvious in February. He knew he had to squeeze money into the future to keep his team together in 2021.
This is what Gutekunst said about borrowing money from future years: “We have done it before, we must definitely do it this year. The situation that our football team is in now, I think we have one goal in mind. And if there is an opportunity to take some risks to help us win now, we are definitely in that mode. “
Gutekunst supported its words with actions over the past month and a half. Six major changes for veteran actors who all involved pushing money into the future. According to Ken Ingalls, the Packers have now kicked over $ 28 million in salary cap dollars into future years, including over $ 1
Here is the breakdown:
Updated: #Packers “Kick the Can” payroll:
🥫D. Bakhtiari: $ 8,304,044
.Z. Smith: $ 7,380,000
🥫A. Amos: $ 4,328,000
.B. Turner: $ 3,560,000
.P. Smith: $ 3,250,000
.M. Crosby: $ 1,340,000
Total kicked: $ 28,162,044
IcketKicked into 2022: $ 15,705,015 https://t.co/Z9HWvie5kh
– Ken Ingalls – Packers Cap @ (@KenIngalls) March 23, 2021
The Packers, who entered the offseason in some pay issues, needed to push money into future years to keep players and avoid clearing the roster. Gutekunst escaped linebacker Christian Kirkey and offensive tackle by Rick Wagner, but restructuring contracts did most of the work of managing the roof.
Bakhtiari’s contract had a built-in mechanism for creating an immediate salary cap, and the Packers used it early in the offseason, converting a praise bonus into a signing bonus.
This was a common tactic for the Packers. By making the base salary or route bonus a signing bonus, the team got to prorate the money over several years and take the pressure off the roof this year, while adding more money to future roofs. The team also spent invalid years on Adrian Amos and Mason Crosby to expand the proration window further and create greater share of savings in 2021.
The movements created flexibility, even though the team has not been active (at all) in free agency. The Packers lost center Corey Linsley, who signed the NFL’s richest contract for a center but managed to keep running back Aaron Jones, close end Robert Tonyan, receiver Allen Lazard and cornerback Kevin King.
However, kicking the box down the road always has a price.
According to Over the Cap, the Packers already have contracts worth over $ 200 million for just 29 players for the 2022 season. The takeaway here is that the team needs to do more payroll gymnastics this time next year, but the NFL’s new television contracts should cause a peak in 2023, so it’s likely to push more money back into the future.
The Packers have not yet touched on Aaron Rodger’s contract, which could help create more cap space. However, risking pushing too much money into the future, especially for a team that has already committed so much new money to future roofs.
Given the circumstances, Gutekunst and Packers have done well to keep last year’s list together without significant losses. The cost was future pain that ruled the hood, especially next year.