The NFLPA on Monday announced the league salary cap was set at $143,280,000. With a 2014 rollover of $7,791,106 and $400,000 of adjustments, the Packers will be working with a cap of $151,471,106. That’s the 10th-highest cap in the league.
According to the NFLPA’s salary cap report, the Packers have $119,310,214 tied up in 53 players. At this time of the year, only the top 51 contracts count against the cap. Eliminating the two lowest cap figures brings the Packers’ cap space to $33,030,982.
The Packers did not use the franchise tag on either of their coveted free agents at Monday’s deadline. Tagging Cobb would have cost the Packers a one-year guaranteed contract of $12.8 million. Using the tag not only would have kept Cobb in Green Bay but bought the Packers 12 months to get a long-term deal worked out. Cobb reportedly is seeking a deal worth an average of $12 million. With that asking price, there’s little reason for Cobb to do anything but test the market.
Until 3 p.m. (Central) Saturday, the Packers have exclusive negotiating rights with the agents for Cobb (Jimmy Sexton), Bulaga (Tom Condon), Davon House (Kenny Zuckerman) and Tramon Williams (Rodney Williams), among others.
After that, all free agents are free to shop their services around the league leading up to the official start of free agency at 3 p.m (Central) on Tuesday, March 10.
For the Packers, the best-case scenario would be a repeat of last year, when cornerback Sam Shields got a feel for the free-agent market before re-signing with the club before the start of the signing period.
Green Bay is loaded with money but it’s not alone. Jacksonville is $68.5 million under the cap and Oakland is $55.7 million under the cap, according to OverTheCap.com. They are among nine teams with more cap space than the Packers. Sources have said Carolina and Jacksonville are interested in both Cobb and Bulaga. They’re obviously not alone. The Panthers have $16.9 million at their firstname.lastname@example.org, or leave him a question in Packer Report’s subscribers-only Packers Pro Club forum. Find Bill on Twitter at twitter.com/PackerReport.