Packers: How much cap space can Green Bay theoretically create?

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

If you have no regard for the future of the Green Bay Packers, this article is for you.

As many of us know by now, the Packers must clear enough cap room to get under the league’s limit of $182.5 million, announced on Wednesday morning.

When you adjust for rollover from the 2020 cap, the Packers limit sits at $186.2 million in the upcoming season.

As it stands right now the Packers are $9.4 million over the cap, and they must get that money off the books by March 17 (the start of the new league year).

There are of course are multitude of ways the Packers can get under that cap, but what if they want to take it even further?

What if Brian Gutekunst believes this is the year the Packers must go 100 percent all-in to win a Super Bowl, and so he chooses to show no regard for future cap seasons, and pushes as much money as possible down the road in order to make one enormous Super Bowl push in 2021?

Here is how he could do it, with all salary estimates via Over The Cap.

Extend Davante Adams

Cap freed up: $9.3 million

This is a common move that is pretty realistic for the Packers. This move alone would clear all but $0.1 million of the current money requiring clearance.

Extend Aaron Rodgers

Cap freed up: $17.4 million

Yes, we aren’t even restructuring Aaron Rodgers. The Packers are going the extra mile to bring in free agents in 2021, so they’re going to extend the 37-year-old reigning MVP.

Theoretically we could’ve cut Rodgers and saved over $30 million but that makes no sense for a team that wants to go all-in for one season.

Extend Za’Darius Smith

Cap freed up: $12.4 million

Za’Darius did say he wanted to be a Packer for life. Let’s make him one then. I can smell the big-name free agents coming in already.

Before you go any further, I understand that I am fundamentally breaking the 2023/24 Packers with this exercise. Just assume that the world gets hit with an asteroid after the Packers win next year’s Super Bowl and football never exists again.

Extend Adrian Amos

Cap freed up: $4.7 million

Again, extensions work out slightly more beneficial in the short-term than restructures do. Similar to Adams, extending Amos is a move I’d actually like to see.

Release Preston Smith

Cap freed up: $8 million

Okay so not to get too, too carried away. We hypothetically could’ve extended Preston, and saved a little more than the release number, but we’ll keep this exercise at least one percent realistic.

Release Jordan Love

Cap freed up: $10.1 million

Forget what I said about keeping this one percent realistic. We’re going completely haywire now. If the Packers were theoretically only concerned about winning a Super Bowl in 2021 and nothing else, then Love is no longer a part of the equation.

Release Dean Lowry

Cap freed up: $3 million

Lowry is shown the door and the Packers are really freeing up a ton of room now.

Restructure Billy Turner

Cap freed up: $2.4 million

I mean… RIP to next year’s salary cap as a whole but oh boy, this year’s Packers are going to be the NFL’s first ever Super team.

Extend Marquez Valdes-Scantling

Cap freed up: $1 million

One last contract extension, because every million counts. This move does actually kind of make sense for the Packers anyway.

Restructure remaining nine players

Cap freed up: $3.1 million

Going through each of the Packers’ minor restructures they can actually accumulate to a nice chunk of salary cap, and Russ Ball can just retire and never have to deal with the repercussions.

So how much total cap space did we just create?

The answer is $71.4 million!

This would give the Packers a total of $62 million of cap space entering free agency, good enough for fourth-most in the entire league.

Bear in mind, this was done while only losing their backup QB, backup edge defender, and third overall DT.

Is this possible?

Hypothetically? Yes, it is possible.

In practice? I assume you get a call from the league office kind of like how your bank freezes your credit card when they find you making unnecessary online purchases at 3 am.

Again, to clarify, we all know this would never happen in a million years, but if it did, say hello to the 2021 Super Bowl Champion Green Bay Packers!

Also say hello to likely a half decade of three-win seasons afterwards. Let’s not worry about that!