Five moves Packers need to make in 2021 offseason

Green Bay Packers, Brian GutekunstGpg Packers 031419 Abw079
Green Bay Packers, Brian GutekunstGpg Packers 031419 Abw079 /
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Green Bay Packers, Aaron Rodgers
Green Bay Packers, Aaron Rodgers (Photo by Dylan Buell/Getty Images) /

4. Restructure deals, free up cap room

It’s easy to say the Packers should go all-in with Rodgers, but to actually do it is another. An expected reduced salary cap makes life tough for every team, including the Packers. According to Over The Cap, the team is expected to have negative-$32.69 million in room available. It will take some creativity just to get back level, but the Packers can make some moves to free up room.

I’ve used Over The Cap’s calculator to help, a great tool if you want to try your hand in Brian Gutekunst’s chair.

First of all, Gutekunst needs to decide which players to move on from. Sure, it doesn’t help the roster to lose talented players, but it’s all about freeing up cap room. Preston Smith could be a cap casualty. He took a big step back in 2020 with just four sacks and 11 QB hits. He struggled to make an impact in the NFC title game.

Green Bay could free up $8 million by moving on from Smith. Releasing Christian Kirksey would free up over $5 million.

Another consideration should be restructuring deals. For example, restructuring Rodgers’ contract could save around $14.5 million next year. They could also save cap room by restructuring Za’Darius Smith or David Bakhtiari’s deals. Yes, this pushes money into future years so the Packers would need to be smart, but that’s the price of going all-in to maximize Rodgers’ window.

Another option would be to give Davante Adams an extension. Adams is entering a contract year in 2021, but by working out an extension, the team could save cap room for next season.

It won’t be easy, but making some cap moves could help the Packers either re-sign more players or bring in other free agents. The short-term gain would mean they can strengthen the roster, but the risk is creating bigger salary cap issues once Rodgers is no longer on the team.