The Green Bay Packers continue to create cap space for 2023.
According to NFL Network’s Ian Rapoport, the Packers have restructured the contracts of Jaire Alexander and Preston Smith.
The move creates over $16 million in cap space for the 2023 season.
Both are unsurprising moves. The Packers needed to get under the salary cap before the start of the new league year in mid-March, and restructuring contracts is a way to create space.
It’s a short-term fix. These moves help create additional cap space this year, but at the expense of future seasons. Restructures push the problem down the road, moving more money into future years.
A positive of that is the expectation will be for the salary cap to increase, so it becomes easier to manage those cap hits in future years. But it’s far from an ideal scenario.
We knew Jaire Alexander would be back in 2023, but one possibility was for the Packers to release Preston Smith. That never seemed particularly likely, but this restructure rules that out.
It effectively guarantees that Smith will remain under contract for another season, and possibly multiple years.
The Packers’ salary cap work won’t be finished just yet. They still have more space to create before the new league year.
Unfortunately, contract restructures only add to the salary cap hits in future years, so it’s far from the ideal scenario for Green Bay.
Does the Packers’ decision to restructure these contracts show they are preparing to run it back with Aaron Rodgers? Not necessarily, but in some cases, restructuring a contract over releasing a player is notable, such as with Aaron Jones.