The Green Bay Packers still have a light wallet
The Green Bay Packers have been shrewd cap cutters during free agency season. The Packers have watched veteran free agents on both sides of the ball sign to other teams this March. The Packers have made one modest signing on a free agent coming from another team so far, which was for a long snapper. The team has made a few restructures, but more cost-cutting measures will likely happen shortly.
The Packers are shown by Over The Cap to have over $23 million to spend this offseason. But much of that money must be allocated to sources other than a sexy free agent. According to Ken Ingalls, who studies and covers the Packers salary cap, the team has an “effective total cap” of $700,000 when you compute for necessary items such as the cost of the players signed in the 2023 NFL Draft, practice squad players, and a “piggy bank” for in season emergency spending.
2023 Green Bay Packers Salary Cap – 3/21/23
⚠️Still need non-salary details for Ballentine & Ford
🟨Current Top 51 Cap $23.1M
🟥Top 51 Cap Pending Offseason $12.3M
➕Contracts 52 & 53
🟦Effective Total Cap $0.7M pic.twitter.com/1di6dqcf3A
— Ken Ingalls – Packers Cap 💰 (@KenIngalls) March 21, 2023
An Aaron Rodgers trade could be delayed until summer
Because the Packers are so tight on cash here in late Match, the team will have to get even more creative with the cap this offseason. Pete Dougherty with the Green Bay Press-Gazette wrote about potential remedies for the Packers’ cap space this offseason. Dougherty thinks the Packers could look to trade one of the following players to make room, safety Darnell Savage, offensive tackle Yosh Nijman, or offensive guard Jon Runyan. They could also extend much-needed pass rusher Rashan Gary.
The other option Dougherty came up with is for the Packers to wait out their trade to send Rodgers to the Jets until June:
“Doing the deal after June 1 would free up $15.8 million on this year’s cap (though add about $24 million to the ’24 cap).
But delaying the trade that long would carry risks. The Packers absolutely can’t get stuck with Rodgers’ $59.5 million contract, but stuck they’d be if the trade fell through. And who knows what might happen between now and June that could scuttle a deal with the Jets? Also, if Rodgers weren’t OK with a delay, he could create havoc and try to force the Packers’ hand by showing up for offseason workouts in April.”
Freeing up $15.8 million in one move has to sound tempting to general manager Brian Gutekunst. After all, the above options with trading starters or extending Gary would net about $3-4 million per move. The Jets seem all in on receiving Rodgers for 2023, but changes and curveballs happen quickly in the NFL and could ruin the Packers’ plans.