$21M Ain’t What It Used To Be

There's the perception of the Packers' salary cap and then there's the reality of what's to come during the rest of the offseason and beyond.

The Green Bay Packers have about $21.33 million in cap space, according to OverTheCap.com.

That’s the ninth-most available cap space after the dust has settled on the first wave of free agency. Those deals include what start off as cap-friendly deals for Randall Cobb and Bryan Bulaga, the Packers’ prized free agent re-signings, as well as the re-signing of quarterback Scott Tolzien and tenders for safeties Sean Richardson and Chris Banjo and offensive tackle Don Barclay.

It’s time to go shopping, right?

Well, maybe not.

The Packers probably will re-sign more of their own players. That list is topped by cornerback Tramon Williams, though he certainly won’t have anywhere near his 2014 cap number of $9.5 million. Still, the Packers would have no depth whatsoever if they can’t bring him back. B.J. Raji, Letroy Guion, John Kuhn and Jarrett Bush also remain unsigned.

The Packers also need to keep money for their rookie class. They will be picking 30th in every round, plus should get sixth-round compensatory selections for James Jones and Evan Dietrich-Smith and perhaps a seventh-rounder for Marshall Newhouse. That would give the Packers 10 picks.

If the Packers keep all of the aforementioned free agents, the cap charge could be around $8 million. The rookie class might cost $6 million. Add it up, and that’s $14 million — which would leave about $7 million leftover. That’s a tidy sum to put toward an in-season extension or to roll into the 2016 cap.

Among Green Bay’s free agents for the 2016 offseason are the remnants of the 2012 draft class — Nick Perry, Casey Hayward, Mike Daniels — plus kicker Mason Crosby, running back James Starks and tight end Andrew Quarless. And if you want to really look ahead, the 2017 offseason is ripe with big-time players: starting linemen Josh Sitton, T.J. Lang and David Bakhtiari, plus 2013 draft picks Datone Jones, Eddie Lacy, J.C. Tretter, Micah Hyde, Josh Boyd, Nate Palmer and Sam Barrington.

Bill Huber is publisher of Packer Report magazine and PackerReport.com and has written for Packer Report since 1997. E-mail him at packwriter2002@yahoo.com, or leave him a question in Packer Report’s subscribers-only Packers Pro Club forum. Find Bill on Twitter at twitter.com/PackerReport.


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