2. Kenny Clark
Another player still on his rookie contract is Kenny Clark, the Packers’ first-round pick in 2016. Among defensive linemen in the NFL, Clark ranks 105th for average salary. That’s simply incredible for one of the league’s defensive rising stars, and a Pro Bowl alternate in 2018.
His interior pressure is an important part of Mike Pettine’s defense, and he provided six sacks in 2018, second on the team behind edge rusher Kyler Fackrell. But despite that, the former first-round pick has an average salary of just $2.34 million, with a 2019 cap hit of just $2.98 million.
By releasing Mike Daniels earlier this week, Green Bay has shown a ton of confidence in Clark and the young talent on the defensive line.
There is some good news for Clark. The 2019 season is the final year of his rookie contract, and the Packers have picked up his fifth-year option. As a result, Clark’s salary will rise in 2020 to $7.69 million.
But it could get even better. The Packers saved cap room by releasing Daniels, and they did so for a reason. Clark might be the next player on the roster to receive a new deal.
Clark will soon be among the highest-paid defensive linemen in the NFL, and well deserved. But for now, his cap hit and average salary is incredibly low.