Packers Clear $16 Million in Cap Space With Roster Moves: Report

Getty The Green Bay Packers cleared more than $16 million in cap space with contract tweaks for Preston Smith and Jaire Alexander.

The Green Bay Packers came into the offseason with legitimate salary cap concerns, but it didn’t take long for general manager Brian Gutekunst and his staff to get the team back under the cap.

Gutekunst quickly got to work after the end of the 2022 season by restructuring the contract of Aaron Jones, getting the veteran running back to agree to a $5 million pay cut to stay in Green Bay. That move still had the Packers at around $10 million over the cap, however, with more moves needing to be made.

Gutekunst and Russ Ball were able to get the Packers back under the salary cap shortly after. Ian Rapaport with NFL Network tweeted on Saturday, February 25 that the team was able to restructure the contracts of Jaire Alexander and Preston Smith, clearing more than $16 million in cap space with the moves.

The moves are a win for the Packers. Not only are they able to retain the services of an All-Pro cornerback and solid edge rusher, but they also now have the cap flexibility that they desperately need to prepare for any scenarios involving the future of quarterback Aaron Rodgers.

What Other Moves Could the Packers Make?

Even though the Packers were able to get under the salary cap, there are still a few more tweaks that could be made in order to give the team the ability to make some moves this offseason.

Kenny Clark is another player who could see his contract restructured. With a $24 million cap hit in 2023, the Packers could make some tweaks to his contract (or offer him another extension) to relieve some cap space for next season.

The Packers could also make some difficult roster cuts to clear space. One name that has been previously mentioned is All-Pro left tackle David Bakhtiari, with the star player being named a top cut candidate this offseason. The 31-year-old is still dealing with issues from a torn ACL back in 2020, and at some point he could decide to call it quits rather than continue rehabbing from such a complicated injury.

A trade involving former first-round pick Darnell Savage could also clear some cap space. The safety’s fifth-year option is fully guaranteed, but a trade would take the option completely off their books. Savage has even been mentioned as being packaged into an Aaron Rodgers trade proposal for that very reason.

Ball and Gutekunst have gotten creative with clearing cap space in recent years, so expect more of the same throughout into the 2023 offseason.

What’s The Latest on Aaron Rodgers?

As the Packers continue to work on their cap space, the team and fans everywhere are anxiously waiting on a decision from Rodgers about his future.

The 39-year-old quarterback recently emerged from his darkness retreat, which he said he was taking to help him decide on his plans for 2023 and beyond. While he has yet to make an announcement, one is expected to happen soon now that he’s finished the retreat.

Regardless of what Rodgers is thinking, there has still been plenty of speculation regarding a possible trade for the four-time MVP. Multiple teams have been linked to Rodgers, with even a new team being mentioned as a potential landing spot in the Seattle Seahawks.

There’s still some time before Rodgers makes a formal decision, but if he decides he wants to keep playing, plenty of teams will be reaching out to the Packers to inquire about his interest in playing for them in 2023.

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