The Green Bay Packers have a number of large contracts that now belong to underperforming players.
Randall Cobb ($12.7 million cap number), Jordy Nelson ($12.5 million cap number) and Clay Matthews ($11.3 million cap number) immediately come to mind. While Cobb and Matthews are still valuable assets, they’re making more than their production deserves. Nelson appears to be on the decline, although he may be better suited for the slot, which is where Cobb plays.
Plenty of decisions to make there. My guess is Matthews goes nowhere. The Packers have no leverage in that situation other than to release Matthews, which doesn’t make much sense.
Cobb and Nelson present difficult situations. The Packers can’t really have $30 million invested in receivers, which they do now that Davante Adams has been paid. Nelson is a prime candidate to take a pay cut. Like Matthews, the Packers don’t have much leverage over Cobb.
That brings us to right tackle Bryan Bulaga.
The oft-injured tackle has two years left on his deal. He has cap numbers of $7.9 million and $8.35 million. The Packers could release Bulaga and save about $4.7 million this year.
That’s not a huge savings, but the bigger concern here has to be Bulaga’s injury history. He tore his ACL in November. That’s his second ACL tear, one in each knee. Most likely, that means Bulaga won’t be ready for the start of the season.
Bulaga also had a fractured hip in 2012 and has battled ankle injuries. He has missed a total of 27 games in his career.
The real question is do the Packers feel comfortable with their potential replacements? Those would be Kyle Murphy or Jason Spriggs, both of whom are on rookie deals.
Bulaga is a decent right tackle when he’s healthy, but that was the Packers’ problem — or one of them — in 2017. Their offensive line was often a patchwork unit decimated by injuries.
So, is Bulaga worth the risk at that salary? It’s a tough call, but I’d say no.
This was basically the same article that was posted on ESPN, lol.
I disagree on Matthews personally. Offer him a contract extension to lower his cap hit this year. Or cut him. The packers could pay two decent defenders for his salary, and that is all Matthews is at this point, a decent player. You don’t want to keep Bulaga because injury concerns, but yet the walking injury himself that has not produced double digit sacks in years that makes twice as much should be kept? Do you really think he will flourish under Pettine? Maybe, not sure it is worth $11.5 million to gamble
The Packers don’t have much leverage over Matthews or Bulaga because of bad drafting. The OLB position cannot be fixed immediately after the draft. It takes the guys two years, if not more, to become mainstays in the rotation. Shields held all the leverage against us because of the drop off in quality behind him at the time of his contract negotiation (Drew Rosenhaus surely considered that when he landed Shields his contract). Mike Daniels and Bakhtiari got nice contracts, but didn’t try to squeeze every single penny out of the Packers’ pocket. Adams is vastly overpaid (ranks 64th in ypc and 34th in total yds, but 4th in average salary), and no, we don’t have much talent behind him as far as being a WR1 is concerned. So yeah, bloated contracts for underperforming players is what you get with so-so drafting.