5. Use remaining cap space to strengthen roster
Even by taking all of the previous steps, the Packers will still be limited somewhat with what they can do in free agency. That said, there are ways to strengthen the roster and retain key free agents. Again, it comes down to the structure of deals.
Take Davante Adams, as an example. To re-sign Adams to a deal that’s not the franchise tag, they will likely need to make him the highest-paid wide receiver in football. However, in a long-term deal, it’s possible to have a relatively small 2022 cap hit before it rises in future years.
With free agents the Packers sign, there would be ways to structure deals to help in the short term. Take the deal they signed with Aaron Jones in 2021 as an example. Jones signed a four-year extension, but look at the structure. According to Over The Cap, Jones’ cap hits in 2021 and 2022 were set at $4.46 million and $8.95 million respectively, but they jump up to $19.25 million in 2023 and $15.25 million in 2024.
This would be something to keep in mind when it comes to potential new deals for De’Vondre Campbell or Rasul Douglas.
This approach may also help the Packers add some free agents in the offseason that can help fix their biggest needs. Gutekunst should also consider signing veteran players who would be willing to take slightly less money for a chance to go after a Super Bowl.
There would be ways to add talent in the offseason even with limited cap room.
If the Packers go all in, they will need to use the resources they have to strengthen the roster wherever possible. Even if it means pushing money into future years, doing so could help the Packers mount a serious Super Bowl challenge one more time with Rodgers at QB.