Once the new collective bargaining agreement is finished, the salary cap will return to the NFL and 2011’s cap will be lower than 2009’s.
The cap is projected to be as high as $121 million, but could be as low as $117 million. The 2009 cap was $122 million.
If the 2011 cap is $120 million, the Green Bay Packers would be one of seven teams that exceed that number right now. How do they get under it?
The solution is fairly simple and involves cutting ties with veterans no one expects to be around this year, anyway.
The Packers really don’t have a cap problem, particularly if they move linebacker Nick Barnett. Cutting or trading him saves the team about $4.4 million. They can save close to $4.5 million if right tackle Mark Tauscher doesn’t come back. The Packers are $62,000 under the cap.
As we’ve discussed numerous times, the Packers are set at inside linebacker, where the starters are [intlink id=”80″ type=”category”]A.J. Hawk[/intlink] and [intlink id=”492″ type=”category”]Desmond Bishop[/intlink], making Barnett too expensive to be a backup.
They’re also set at right tackle, where [intlink id=”925″ type=”category”]Bryan Bulaga[/intlink] took over for Tauscher when the veteran went on injured reserve last season. Tauscher’s body seems to finally have broken down and with several young linemen waiting for playing time, there isn’t any reason for the Packers to pay him $4.5 million.
That isn’t the end of the story though.
The Packers still have to sign their draft picks and need to make additional room if they plan on re-signing any of their own free agents, which include [intlink id=”251″ type=”category”]John Kuhn[/intlink] and [intlink id=”152″ type=”category”]Mason Crosby[/intlink].
That leaves the front office with some tough decisions to make in a very short period of time.
Keep in mind that redone deals for Tramon, Nick Collins, and AJ are included in last year’s number for the Packers. So, they aren’t in as tight a shape as one might think.
Barnett and Tauscher are either gone or coming back at the minimum for their tenure (still about a cool mil per year). Cullen Jenkins is almost certainly gone. That’s about $12 million saved right there.
We will likely lose more free agents than we’ll resign. So, we can take all that salary we’re cutting and just shift it over to the couple free agents (Crosby, Kuhn) that we’ll be keeping.
It’s very easy to say let Tauscher and Barnett go and basically problem solved. I think Chillar may not pass his physical after 3 shoulder surgeries…$2+Mil saved plus that makes Barnett the only veteran backup to Hawk/Bishop. Barnett hinted he’s willing to renegotiate…$ saved.
I could see Poppinga, Wilhelm, Briggs not making the team (several Mil saved) and what if TT decides he would rather jettison Ryan Grant and save $5.25Mil.
All I’m saying is there is a lot more ways to slice this than the obvious.
I don’t think the Packer are into veteran Backups. If older guys can’t start they likely are gone. TT and MM like to develop younger players, and who’s going to argue with their methodology.
Adios Cullen Jenkins and James Jones…Mike Neal is going to show everyone why he is considered to be (Pound-for-pound (Clay Matthews aside)) one of the strongest guys on the team. And i think Justin Harrel may get one more chance…TT has had 7 1st-round draft picks, and so far, he has been the only bust (Harrel) due to Chronic injuries (back, knee).
We also drafted a reciever and half-back in rounds 2 & 3….so Grant & Jones may be out, too.
“I don’t think the Packer are into veteran Backups. If older guys can’t start they likely are gone. TT and MM like to develop younger players, and who’s going to argue with their methodology”.
Jeremy, Donald Lee was a veteran backup making I think $2mil. And TT and MM’s methodology may shift slightly. Since they have a 3-5 year window for SB runs a little more focus may be on the present while still watching out for the future. That’s why I wouldn’t be surprised if TT brought in a mid tier FA if he improved the team.
Don’t worry the Packers will be just fine under the new salary cap! Ted seems to know what hes doing!
Justin Harrel…1 more chance??? How about his 4th chance?…he’s a bust that TT cant admit..he should be cut this year. he was a bust because he’d come in fat and out of shape, lets stop bull shitting, came in, lifted to much for what he could handle, another season lost….good riddence
Barnett will be gone, J J will be gone, Jenkins will be gone unless he takes a pay cut, and i dont see that, but he’s injured to much to pay the big bucks…Let TT do what he has to do, he’s been pretty damn good so far…Kudos Ted.
Drivers tough to keep at his salary as his catches diminish, i know, everyone loves him, but he’s makin a ton of cash. I wish he would retire on his own terms…now, he wants to play till he’s 40, but damn, thats alot of money when the cap is tight.
I doubt TT or MM will change their methodology one iota. After all, why would they? They just won a SB.
Donald Lee was a necessary exception because Quarless and Crabtree didn’t know the playbook.
DD may very well end up finishing his career elsewhere. That may be hard to believe, but that is the normal trend these days. TT won’t continue to pay him 2nd WR money if he slides to the clear 3rd or 4th spot. DD would have to take a pay cut to stay until his 40.
Cutting Grant is not out of the question if Green looks good enough. Green would have to look pretty good though. You have to have a capable back up if you decide to go with Starks.