Ted Thompson has clearly left the building. Green Bay Packers general manager Brian Gutekunst spoke to the media about his trade deadline deals on Wednesday. Gutekunst made it clear getting a fourth-round pick for Ha Ha Clinton-Dix now was about next year.
“We’d like to be active in free agency, and if we’re active in free agency, that affects the compensatory process,” Gutekunst said.
Clinton-Dix was expected to sign elsewhere after the season. In theory, that would have gotten the Packers a compensatory draft pick. However, the compensatory pick formula says you have to lose more players in free agency than you sign. Thompson loved his compensatory picks. He’d let five guys walk and sign no one. Compensatory pick bonanza!
Gutekunst is clearly not Uncle Ted. Not only did he make moves in free agency this year, he’s keen to make some next year.
That could mean the Packers might end up getting nothing for Clinton-Dix. Well, now that will not be the case.
The better news is the Packers should be flush with salary cap space next year. Kicking Clinton-Dix out of town gives the team $10 million in cap room this year. They can carry that over to next year. Additionally, the team is shedding some huge contracts after the season.
Gone will be Clay Matthews’ $13 million annual salary. Gone will be Randall Cobb’s $10 million annual salary. Other guys that will be off the books: Muhammad Wilkerson ($5 million), Marcedes Lewis ($2 million), Lance Kendricks ($2 million).
Gone will be Martellus Bennett’s dead money ($4 million). Gone will be Jordy Nelson’s dead money ($2 million). Gone will be Damarious Randall’s dead money ($1 million).
Hopefully, the Packers will finally cut the cord on Bryan Bulaga too. That move could add more than $6 million to the available salary cap space.
That number currently sits at around $43 million. Let’s boost it to $49 million!
Who are some free agents that could be out there?
Rams free safety LaMarcus Joyner. Seahawks free safety Earl Thomas. Cowboys edge rusher DeMarcus Lawrence. Texans outside linebacker Jadeveon Clowney. Broncos outside linebacker Shaquil Barrett. Chiefs outside linebacker Dee Ford.
Just to name some guys…