Kicker Mason Crosby’s new contract is a four-year deal worth $16.1 million, but the first year cap number is most telling and suggests the Green Bay Packers might actually make some significant moves this offseason.
Crosby will actually pocket $6.15 million in 2016, thanks largely to his $5 million signing bonus. However, that signing bonus is prorated over the length of his contract for salary cap purposes.
Crosby’s actual salary cap number for 2016 is just $2.4 million.
That’s notable because the Packers usually front load player contracts when they sign a new deal. Not doing so with Crosby’s deal — and not having any other notable in-house free agents to take care of — suggests the Packers plan on spending more money on someone else this year.
The Packers currently have around $19 million in cap space, which ranks them 20th in the NFL. Four teams have more than $50 million in cap space, led by Jacksonville’s $83 million.
While the Packers aren’t flush with salary cap space like some teams, they do have some money they could spend.
Could that be an outside free agent or two?
Coach Mike McCarthy suggested the Packers may surprise on that front this year, although we’ll believe it when we see it.
They could also be looking at extending someone from their 2017 free agent class, this year.
That class will be heavy on offensive linemen, including left tackle David Bakhtiari and guards Josh Sitton and T.J. Lang. It will also include running back Eddie Lacy.
Finally, the Packers could roll a large unused portion of the salary cap over to next year. Any amount that goes unused in one year’s salary cap gets added to the next year’s.
The Packers rolled over a little more than $6 million from last year to this year’s cap.
They’ll likely save some for 2017, but not more than $15 million.
So where does that money go?