Packers About $21 Million Below Reported Cap

That's not a lot of money once you factor in the 2013 rookie class and possible contract extensions for Clay Matthews and B.J. Raji. on Friday reported that the salary cap for the 2013 season will be $123 million.

If accurate, that would put the Green Bay Packers approximately $21 million below this year's cap.

Green Bay's cap will be a shade over $130 million, when the 2012 salary-cap rollover of $7,010,832 is taken into account.

During the offseason, only the top 51 cap figures are taken into account. According to a source with access to salary data, the Packers' top 51 players add up to $108,951,942.

That leaves Green Bay some financial freedom, though maybe not as much as you'd think. Using the franchise tag on receiver Greg Jennings would cost $10.537 million, all of which would go on this year's cap. A tag-and-trade deal would take all of that off the books, but he'd at least be on the cap for a day. Free agency begins on March 12, so the Packers have ample cap space in the short term.

Money will have to be spent to retain restricted free agents, a group headlined by Sam Shields and Evan Dietrich-Smith.

Signing this year's eight draft picks will take around $4 million or $5 million.

Reserving room for contract extensions for Clay Matthews and B.J. Raji would require a big chunk of the pie. Raji's cap figure of $6,595 million is the sixth-highest on the team and Matthews' cap figure of $4.91 million is the eighth-highest on the team, according to the source. Typically, general manager Ted Thompson won't sacrifice future caps for the sake of the current cap, so he'd be unlikely to back-load the deal. So, it's a safe bet that any extensions would be several million dollars more than the players' combined cap of $11.505 million.

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Bill Huber is publisher of Packer Report magazine and and has written for Packer Report since 1997. E-mail him at, or leave him a question in Packer Report's subscribers-only Packers Pro Club forum. Find Bill on Twitter at

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