The Green Bay Packers came into the offseason with concerns about their cap space for 2023, but general manager Brian Gutekunst keeps making moves with key players like Kenny Clark get under the cap.
Gutekunst and company wasted no time clearing cap space. After having Aaron Jones agree to a $5 million paycut on February 17, the Packers cleared another $16 million a week later by restructuring contracts for Preston Smith and Jaire Alexander.
Clark is now the latest veteran to agree to a contract restructure. ESPN’s Field Yates tweeted on Wednesday, March 1 that the Packers had restructured Clark’s contract in order to clear just over $11 million in cap space.
The Packers were just over $6.4 million under the cap prior to Clark’s restructure according to Over the Cap. Now with over $17 million to work with, the Packers are likely to keep tweaking contracts for 2023 in order to maximize their flexibility for the offseason.
What Other Moves Could the Packers Make?
Gutekunst is aggressively tweaking contracts in order to free up cap space, but the Packers general manager is on record stating that he’s not done doing whatever is needed to clear more.
Speaking with reporters at the NFL Scouting Combine, Gutekunst shared that he intends to restructure David Bakhtiari’s contract to make sure he’s still able to play for the Packers in 2023. The former All-Pro saw his first consistent action last season after tearing his ACL at the end of 2020, proving that he can still play at a high level when on the field.
Along with contract restructures, the Packers could try to make a trade to clear some cap space. Former first-round pick Darnell Savage will have a fully-guaranteed fifth-year option for next season, but the Packers could save $7.9 million by trading him away. Savage has already been mentioned in a potential trade package that would send Aaron Rodgers to the New York Jets.
It’s unclear how the Packers plan to use the cap space that’s cleared by all of these confirmed and potential moves, but it’s become clear that Gutekunst is determined to keep finding ways to ease the cap burden for 2023.
What’s The Latest on Aaron Rodgers?
While the Packers are hard at work making roster moves, the team is still waiting to hear from their star quarterback in Aaron Rodgers.
Rodgers recently emerged from his darkness retreat, but has yet to comment on his future plans. That didn’t stop former Pro Bowl wide receiver Brandon Marshall from sharing a retirement post for the 39-year-old, fueling speculation about his future in Green Bay.
While there’s a chance that the four-time MVP returns to Green Bay, Gutekunst notably changed his tone when asked about Rodgers at the combine. Where the Packers GM was adamant about Rodgers returning just a few months ago, Gutekunst remained noncommittal when asked about his quarterback while speaking in Indianapolis.
Even if nothing has been solidified, trade speculation has run rampant across the internet regarding potential landing spots for Rodgers. The New York Jets, Las Vegas Raiders, and even the Seattle Seahawks have been named as potential destinations for the superstar quarterback.
However, until Rodgers has made a decision, all trade rumors are purely speculation at this point.