Packers salary cap situation ahead of 2020 free agency

Green Bay Packers GM Brian Gutekunst (Photo by Stacy Revere/Getty Images)
Green Bay Packers GM Brian Gutekunst (Photo by Stacy Revere/Getty Images) /

Here’s a closer look at the Green Bay Packers’ salary cap ahead of free agency.

In just over a month, the Packers will be able to begin negotiating with free agents from other teams. But a crucial element to making deals is the health of the salary cap.

The Packers are unlikely to compete with teams with the most cap space if it comes down to a bidding war, but that doesn’t mean GM Brian Gutekunst can’t be active again this offseason.

Currently, the Packers enter 2020 with just over $23.7 million in cap room, according to Over The Cap. At first glance, that would appear the Packers don’t have much money to work with next month. However, they will have options to create more room. They’ve already started to do that after adjusting Aaron Rodgers’ contract, which freed up over $11 million for 2020, according to Field Yates of ESPN.

It’s possible they will look to restructure more deals this offseason. Using Over The Cap’s calculator, it shows the Packers could free up around $7 million for 2020 by restructuring Za’Darius Smith’s contract.

The Packers could also make cap savings by releasing players. The two notable names are Jimmy Graham and Lane Taylor. By releasing both players, Green Bay would create around $12 million. That additional money could allow them to be more aggressive in this year’s free agency period.

It’s hard to see Green Bay being quite as active in the first week of free agency as a year ago, but the team doesn’t need to be. Perhaps Gutekunst will look to make a signing or two early, and then focus on addressing needs with cheaper contracts later on.

There isn’t a ton of cap room to work with — especially when compared to the Miami Dolphins’ league-leading $89 million — but the Packers are well-positioned to make a few moves this offseason. Russ Ball is also very good at structuring deals.

Expect Green Bay to be active participants in free agency even if they don’t go on quite the spending spree we saw last spring.