Packers still $9.68 million over the 2021 salary cap

Green Bay Packers, Brian GutekunstGpg Packers 031419 Abw079
Green Bay Packers, Brian GutekunstGpg Packers 031419 Abw079 /

With only a week to go until the start of free agency, the Green Bay Packers are still over the salary cap.

Expect a flurry of roster moves to take place in the coming days for the Packers. According to Over The Cap, the team is still $9.68 million over the salary cap. Every team needs to get below the cap before March 17, which is the start of the new league year.

Fortunately, the Packers have a number of options available to them. Lombardi Ave’s Daire Carragher broke down many of the roster moves the team can make to create cap space.

The most likely options include restructuring and extending contracts, as well as possibly releasing players.

One of the big questions is the future of Preston Smith, who is set for a $16 million cap hit in 2021. According to Albert Breer of Sports Illustrated, Smith has been part of trade discussions.

Whether the Packers trade Smith, release him, or keep him, remains to be seen. But one way to create space would be to trim Smith’s cap hit.

Restructuring contracts such as Za’Darius Smith’s or Aaron Rodgers’ would also help create more space in the current year, although it would push more money into future years, which could prove to be problematic down the line.

Extensions could also help the Packers in the short term.

Davante Adams, Za’Darius Smith, and perhaps even Jaire Alexander could be candidates for contract extensions this offseason. Adding extra years to their deals will allow them to structure the contracts to reduce this year’s cap hit.

The Packers will find ways to get under the salary cap and should be able to make it work without needing to release star players. Expect to see plenty of moves over the coming days with the new league year almost here.