Laughing at Ted Thompson

The NFL’s salary cap for the 2014 season will be $132 million, according to John Clayton. That has the Green Bay Packers sitting pretty.

Earlier this offseason, the salary cap was projected to be around $126 million, so everyone just got an extra $6 million to work with. The Green Bay Packers now have approximately $34 million to spend.

That’s the sixth-highest total in the league.

The Packers do have 19 free agents, 16 of which are unrestricted. However, we know a number of those guys won’t be back.

It looks like cornerback Sam Shields is going to be the only guy in the Packers’ free agent class who’s going to get a remotely pricy long-term deal. Shields is seeking just over $5 million annually and the Packers are working hard to lock him up.

Tight end Jermichael Finley is a wild card. Coach Mike McCarthy says he wants Finley back, but there’s that pesky issue of a major neck injury hanging over him. If he’s cleared medically, Finley may be able to demand a fairly sizable deal.

Meanwhile, someone like B.J. Raji pretty much shot himself in the foot when he turned down $8 million annually from the Packers during the season. Due to his lackluster play, Raji isn’t going to get anywhere near that and the Packers may not even have any interest anymore. The other guy who might get a decent-sized contract is receiver James Jones. The Packers reportedly will let him sign elsewhere, though.

So what to do with all this money?

The Packers are going to make every effort to give contract extensions to Jordy Nelson and Randall Cobb. Both are entering contract years and both are likely to get extensions before or during the season.

That only takes up part of cap space though. The Packers might have to go out and sign some outside free agents this spring.

Just imagine…