The Green Bay Packers were one of a handful of teams over the salary cap when the lockout ended, but they’re now more than $12 million under it.
After a flurry of moves that included releasing highly-paid veterans like [intlink id=”139″ type=”category”]Nick Barnett[/intlink], [intlink id=”224″ type=”category”]Mark Tauscher[/intlink], [intlink id=”222″ type=”category”]Brady Poppinga[/intlink] and [intlink id=”79″ type=”category”]Brandon Chillar[/intlink], the Packers were able to sign their draft picks and a few of their own free agents to reasonable contracts.
With $12 million in cap room, the Packers rank 12th in the NFL. The [intlink id=”158″ type=”category”]Kansas City Chiefs[/intlink], who top the list of cap space, have a whopping $32.9 million available. Six other teams have more than $20 million.
Out of the teams with more cap room than the Packers, only three had winning records last season — the Chiefs, [intlink id=”68″ type=”category”]Tampa Bay Buccaneers[/intlink] (2nd, $29.9 million) and [intlink id=”13″ type=”category”]Chicago Bears[/intlink] (8th, $19.3 million).
You’re probably thinking to yourself, why didn’t the Packers go out and sign some big-name players with that money like the [intlink id=”374″ type=”category”]Philadelphia Eagles[/intlink] did?
That would have made the short offseason more interesting, but the Packers have other business to take care of. The organization is seriously looking at contract extensions for tight end [intlink id=”209″ type=”category”]Jermichael Finley[/intlink], guard [intlink id=”90″ type=”category”]Josh Sitton[/intlink] and receiver [intlink id=”22″ type=”category”]Jordy Nelson[/intlink].
All three players are in the final year of their contract.
If — and it’s a big if — the Packers are able to sign all three players to contract extensions this year that $12 million is as good as gone.