Packers make gutsy cap-saving moves while waiting on Aaron Rodgers

While the Green Bay Packers are waiting on quarterback Aaron Rodgers’ decision, they made some moves to clear up some cap space ahead of the 2023 league year.

The Green Bay Packers are waiting for quarterback Aaron Rodgers to make up his mind, much like the rest of the NFL world. He has to decide whether he wants to continue to play for the Packers, play for another team via a trade, or retire. Rodgers is essentially holding up the quarterback market, as he is the top name that could be made available if he requests a trade. The Packers, meanwhile, are operating like it’s business as usual, as they wait for a decision.

According to NFL Network national insider Ian Rapoport, the Packers have restructured the contracts of cornerback Jaire Alexander and linebacker Preston Smith. With these moves, Green Bay has saved $9.456 million and $6.668 million in cap space, respectively.

Packers clear up cap-space as they await Aaron Rodgers’ decision

These were important financial moves by general manager Brian Gutekunst. According to Spotrac’s Michael Ginnitti, the Packers free up $16.1 million, which put them $5.9 million under the salary cap threshold.

One of the more notable cap-saving measures this offseason was Green Bay restructuring running back Aaron Jones’ contract. In the move, the team converted $3.85 million of Jones’ pay for the 2023 season into a signing bonus, and that freed up $3.08 million in cap space for the upcoming league year, according to ESPN’s Field Yates.

The team could free up more space if they were to restructure some more deals, with Tom Silverstein of reporting they are working to restructure the contracts of defensive tackle Kenny Clark and offensive tackle David Bakhtiari.

Rodgers currently counts for $31.6 million against the cap for the 2023 league year. If he were to request a trade, Green Bay would face an interesting situation, as he carries a dead cap hit of $40.3 million pre-June 1 and would lose $8.69 million in cap space in a trade, per Spotrac. But a post-June 1 trade would save the team $15.79 million in cap space, and split the dead cap hit to $15.83 million in 2023 and $24.48 million in 2024.

Even though Rodgers has returned from his “darkness retreat,” he has yet to make a decision as to what he wants to do in 2023. When that decision arrives, remains to be seen. Regardless of his choice, the Packers front office is working to free up cap space prior to the start of the 2023 league year on March 15.

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