Packers Restructure Lowry And Waive Johnathan Abram To Clear Cap Space

What is the reason for restructuring Dean Lowry's contract now?  I confess, the answer eludes me.

 

WHAT THE PACKERS DID:

The Packers dumped Johnathan Abram as soon as the CBA allowed.  They claimed him and his $2.062M base salary ($114K per game) on November 9th and were required to pay him for three weeks ($343K or $1.031M for the rest of the season if they had kept him).  That is far too expensive for a special teams-only player, and moreover, one who did little more than commit penalties.  The move saves about $688K on the salary cap (assuming he is replaced on the 53-man roster by someone coming back from the IR).  Abram played one defensive snap and 28 snaps on special teams.

Field Yates of ESPN reported that the Packers restructured Dean Lowry's contract by converting $1.5M of his remaining base pay to a signing bonus to clear $1.1M on the cap.  Ken Ingalls provides better details in his tweet.  According to Mr. Ingalls, the Packers converted $1.505M of his remaining base salary to a signing bonus prorated over this year and the three void years already in his contract to save $1,128,750 of 2022 cap space.  That means Lowry's dead money in 2023 will increase by the same amount, so in a sense, it is cap neutral.  Waiving Abram made sense without cap considerations, but the restructure of Lowry suggests that there is a reason.  The two moves clears $1.817M on the salary cap.  Lowry's restructure must have been done prior to the Eagles game to make the numbers add up.

The Packers couldn't wait if they wanted to generate cap space from Lowry.  His base salary was $5M, so through 11 weeks they had paid him $3.055M ($277K per game).  That left $1.944M he was set to earn as base salary.  They have to pay him his minimum for the rest of the year ($1.12M/7 weeks = $435,555), leaving $1.508M available to convert, which they did.  The longer they waited, the less remaining base salary there would be to convert to a signing bonus.

Yet, the Packers did not need to generate more cap space this year.  I had been thinking that the team would rollover a little more than $3M into 2023 (as an estimate only).  Ken Ingalls has the Packers with $6.7M and OTC when they update their figures should increase their estimate from $5.576 to about $7.39M.  The Packers need to plan for contingencies.  Robert Tonyan has a $1.515M game active bonus, for example.  He only played 8 games in 2021, so the remaining games are all not-likely-to-be-earned.  If he plays in the remaining 5 games, the Packers will lose $445,588 in cap space (about $89K per game).  Every game Bakhtiari plays for the rest of the season reduces the Packers' cap space by $35K ($175K if he is active for the rest of the season), and there are other players in the same situation.  If Doubs is ready to return, I would release Watkins to save $373K.  Heck, I would release Watkins even if Doubs isn't ready to return.  [I see Doubs returned to practice yesterday.]  The Packers have to factor in practice squad elevations (maybe $125K or so) and incentives, some of which are not common knowledge. 

So, what can Green Bay do with perhaps $5M plus that they couldn't do with $3M to spend?  Those who remember the December 29th, 2017, extension given to Davante Adams might recall that his first signing bonus proration counted against the 2017 cap as the deadline was the day before the last regular season game.  After that, the first signing bonus proration would not have hit the salary cap until 2018, but it was only a 4-year extension so it couldn't have been prorated over the maximum of 5 years if they had waited one more day.  Plus, the Packers had salary cap space in 2017 (sigh).  

EXTENDING RASHAN GARY:

Gary is a possibility, especially given that his probable price matches the cap space.  Gary cannot expect TJ Watt money ($35M signing bonus, $80M fully guaranteed, $28M AAV), but Bradley Chubb money ($33M fully guaranteed, another $20M vesting early, $22M AAV) is in the ballpark.  A $25M or $30M signing bonus is conceivable, which would mean finding $5M to $6M in cap space in 2022 using the Packers traditional structure.  It is possible that his market price has taken a hit due to his injury.  I would suggest not using the traditional structure, instead using a smaller signing bonus with an option bonus in the out years, by the way.

That seems to be the favorite motivation among fans, but I have reservations about that.  Gary is guaranteed $10.89M in 2023, all of it in base salary.  I have no doubt that the Packers want to knock down his cap number in 2023 with an extension, and this time in time to help meet the new league year salary cap deadline (rather than waiting until May as they did last year with Alexander), but I do not see the advantage in doing this now so that the first salary cap proration hits in 2022 (and again in 2023).  The same deal can be done in January or anytime prior to March so that the first proration hits in 2023 and provides cap relief.  Gary is already hurt and on IR, so he has no reason to be anxious about playing and getting hurt. 

EXTENDING 2023 UFA ELGTON JENKINS:

Jenkins is coming off his rookie second-round contract, so he might welcome a large signing bonus sooner rather than later.  He is also coming back from an ACL and should understand the concern about another injury.  It is only five games, but probably will be 300 more snaps.  After missing the first game, Jenkins has played 100% of the snaps since then.  Still, he played poorly to begin with, but has improved as the season progressed.  Still, he doesn't look like the same player he was in 2021.  I do not know what his market is at present.  It looked like he would command starting left tackle money, but his pass protection at tackle makes that a projection for 2023.  That doesn't mean some team won't take the plunge as a tackle or bank on him returning to near-elite form as a guard.

TWO SIGNINGS?

A combination of two of Nijman, Lazard, and/or Tonyan might fit the bill.  The only benefit is to stop them from testing the market in the early tampering period in March.  Chukwuma Okorafor is arguably a similar player to Nijman.  Okorafor got a $9.25M signing bonus with a year left on his rookie deal, not that unlike Nijman, who is an RFA subject to a possible $4.6M, second-round tender. 

The RFAs are Hanson, Barnes, Nijman, Gileai and Tyler Davis.  Nijman might get tendered for $4.6M, but I would not tender any of the others.  I suppose the Packers might consider a right of first refusal for Krys Barnes at $2.63M, and perhaps for Hanson since they seem to love him.  Other than Nijman, noted above, none of these players should command a significant long-term contract.  Extending them now means they won't be able to test the market during the early tampering period. 

Amos, Lowry, Lewis, Reed, Cobb, and Crosby all played a lot of snaps for the Packers.  I might have some interest in Lewis and Reed, but their contracts should be modest.  Leavitt, Nixon, Ford, and if he continues, Hollins, are interesting players the Packers might well want to retain, but again they are unlikely to command more than very modest salaries.  Wilson, Ballentine, and Watkins also do not move the needle, and I would release Watkins tomorrow.  Guaranteeing a roster bonus or some or all of the their base salary should work about as well as a signing bonus for these players.

I do not foresee the Packers extending Jordan Love at this time, alone or in some combination with another player.

ONE SIGNING WITH TEAM BEING UNCERTAIN ABOUT SOME INCENTIVES: 

The last possibility I see is signing one significant player while leaving a cushion for possible incentives, which if not triggered becomes cap space rolled over into 2023.  It may be that some players are close to attaining incentives unknown to the public. 

The Packers might want to extend a bunch of useful players with very modest roster bonuses or the like.  Perhaps Ford, Nixon, Leavitt and some of the RFAs as well.

WHY?

I don't have a good answer.  I do not know why the Packers would want the proration to fall in 2022 and again in 2023.  The Packers might get a better deal with players who have yet to get a good-sized payday like Jenkins and Nijman, but I don't see how it works in the short-term, and Green Bay has plenty of problems in that time frame.  Since Lowry was restructured prior to the Eagles game, one might have expected an announcement to two of some extensions, but that has not happened. 

I suppose that the Packers needed more space for what they intend, but are going to wait until the last regular season game to actually sign a player or players to an extension so the proration falls in 2023.  I am not really sure why a player whose market value is uncertain would not just wait.  Perhaps there is some other reason?  

 

 

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3 points

Comments (59)

Fan-Friendly This filter will hide comments which have ratio of 5 to 1 down-vote to up-vote.
Thegreatreynoldo's picture

December 01, 2022 at 04:18 am

I put this as Packer News rather than as a featured article. If I had discerned the reasoning behind this move and revealed that brilliance, it would have been featured. And I made it clear in the summary that no subtle and brilliant revelations should be expected in this article.

Scary reasons:

1) The Packers have reached an agreement with Lowry to bring him back in 2023 and beyond! That means most of his dead money from the void years won't hit the 2023 salary cap. [Crap, that actually makes sense and would work, at least from a purely numbers standpoint!] Whatcha think about that?

2) Despite mostly stinking up the joint, multiple players have obscure incentives that they are going to earn, necessitating creating more cap space? That's pretty awful, too. No extra utility but more money and less cap space for 2023.

3) Speaking of which, I've started to write about the 2023 cap scenarios (Part One: trying to contend followed by Part 2 which I haven't named because it might be Part three The rebuild that screws Jordan Love out of playing with any talent). The contending part one article is actually easier to write about, but it isn't pretty.

Not-So-Scary-Reasons:

1) Yeah, I got nothing. Field Yates misheard/misread what his source provided and it really was a straight pay cut?

Edit: Yes, Watkiins is a vested veteran so his base salary is "guaranteed" for the rest of the year. Vested veterans can make a claim after they are released for unpaid base salary if they were on the roster for game one. But a player can only make such a claim once in their career. I don't know if Watkins has already made such a claim. And, sigh, I suppose a classy organization doesn't release a guy in that situation.

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PackyCheese500's picture

December 01, 2022 at 09:43 am

I want a rebuild! It wouldn't screw Jordan Love IF we trade our older players for draft capital and surround him with drafted talent, perhaps

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Coldworld's picture

December 01, 2022 at 10:29 am

If they keep Lowry, it will just be further proof that they have lost all perspective. Personally I feel that they will try and get ahead in a larger extension for Jenkins, Nijman, perhaps Gary or even Jones. They may be also looking to lock up guys like Ford or Nixon. As a wild card, a deal to effectively to buy out Savage from his option?

Sadly, I have little faith in what this team does now either absolutely or in terms of consistency and that extends to Ball after the disgraceful terms of the Rodgers extension.

On Watkins. If I recall, a lot of his contract is incentives. Some of those are in roster bonuses. My understanding is that if they cut that’s lost and non recoverable. The rest don’t accrue if he’s not playing (catches/yards etc).

Playtime:
55% = $150K
60% = $350K
65% = $525K

Catches:
50 = $150K
60 = $350K
70 = $525K

Yards:
550 = $150K
650 = $350K
700 = $525K

TDs
7 = $150K
8 = $350K
9 = $575K

All figures per Ryan Wood. None of those are likely I think only the pro rata element of the 1.12 base would be reclaimable were he cut (he’s already received 400k in signing and workout bonuses and his roster bonuses for games on the active roster so far, about 19.5k per game). Overall, I think we’d save about 100k in active roster bonuses if we cut him versus just letting him sit plus about 300k in base that he could perhaps challenge.

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PackyCheese500's picture

December 01, 2022 at 11:39 am

I think that Gary and Nijman should be priorities to re-sign. Jenkins I think we should tag-and-trade, like we did with Adams. Jones, while I love him, should be traded or cut - he is getting older, and has a huge cap hit in '23.

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Thegreatreynoldo's picture

December 01, 2022 at 07:35 pm

Looks pretty accurate. He has a $330K game active, so $19,411 per game times 5 remaining games = $97,058. [Damn - I had the number in the article and couldn't remember where I got it from, so I changed it to his base salary $1.12M divided by 18 weeks times 6.] He has 272 snaps, to he'd have to get 300 snaps over the next 5 games to hit 55%. [Good catch on his incentives - the incentives were not listed by OTC or spotrac and I wasn't going to research every player.]

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ThunderFromDownunder's picture

December 01, 2022 at 04:18 am

You put out some interesting options to think about . I would bet on Gary or Jenkins to bounce back to good form , so that`s where my money would go .

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Lphill's picture

December 01, 2022 at 05:41 am

Lowery is better as a rotational player I think , I would like to see Heflin get some snaps the rest of the season he played the run well in preseason .

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T7Steve's picture

December 01, 2022 at 07:09 am

TGR, I just asked this in Tim's article this morning before I got to this one.

Rather than using the 5th year option on Jordan Love, can they give him (also Gary, Jenkins) an extension to help with the (rising) SC?

If they start early to get through the future rough SC issues of Rodger's and other's cap hits, is it beneficial? They have to keep kicking this down the road but, locking those guys in is a start and would help don't you think?

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PackyCheese500's picture

December 01, 2022 at 09:42 am

That makes sense, if the cap hit per year would be the same as his 5th-year option (19.8m)

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Thegreatreynoldo's picture

December 01, 2022 at 07:54 pm

For Love, only after the conclusion of this season. CBA requires teams to wait to extend guys on rookie deals until they have played for 3 seasons. So, this does not explain restructuring Lowry now.

If Love would do it, it easily could be a good idea. Love's cap number is $3.94M for 2023 with $2.3M in cash. The Packers would have a hard time if they redo Love's contract in a way that increases his cap number for 2023, but it might be the best thing to do. It depends on how Love looks over the next 5 games. I suspect he will look good enough so he feels he will make $20M from someone, and extending with GB might be a bad long-term move. security versus maximizing income issue with lots of moving parts in GB.

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Thegreatreynoldo's picture

December 01, 2022 at 07:54 pm

For Love, only after the conclusion of this season. CBA requires teams to wait to extend guys on rookie deals until they have played for 3 seasons. So, this does not explain restructuring Lowry now.

If Love would do it, it easily could be a good idea. Love's cap number is $3.94M for 2023 with $2.3M in cash. The Packers would have a hard time if they redo Love's contract in a way that increases his cap number for 2023, but it might be the best thing to do. It depends on how Love looks over the next 5 games. I suspect he will look good enough so he feels he will make $20M from someone, and extending with GB might be a bad long-term move. security versus maximizing income issue with lots of moving parts in GB.

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stockholder's picture

December 01, 2022 at 07:26 am

This DL is rated almost dead last in the NFL @ 31. Signing Lowry is just a head scratcher. I expected better. Bargain shoppers always end up in the basement.

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Coldworld's picture

December 01, 2022 at 10:36 am

Lowry should be benched after last week. That performance was flat out pathetic.

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jannes bjornson's picture

December 01, 2022 at 11:25 am

Three new D linemen, at minimum, will need to be added to the 2023 squad. Lowry is a five-six tech/DE situational pass rush guy, not a starter. Gary will not be ready until trick or treat '23. Edge again is a need.

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PackyCheese500's picture

December 01, 2022 at 12:01 pm

We will not be able to fill all of the '23 needs in order to contend. It is time to embrace a rebuild.

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jannes bjornson's picture

December 01, 2022 at 05:39 pm

That is foundational to a rebuild, of the defense.

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Thegreatreynoldo's picture

December 01, 2022 at 07:59 pm

Lowry is the highest graded defensive lineman on the Packers by PFF. Clark has tumbled down over the last few games. Lowry (59.7 PFF grade), Clark (59.6), Reed (59), and Slaton (58.1) and Wyatt (58.6) is a whole lot of low average to verging on below average.

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stockholder's picture

December 01, 2022 at 08:20 pm

They're blind.

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packerbackerjim's picture

December 01, 2022 at 08:43 am

Is it legal to put Russ Ball on Sodium Pentothal to determine who did what at whose direction. I don’t profess to know Capology 101, but this looks remarkably like a shitshow.

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PackyCheese500's picture

December 01, 2022 at 09:41 am

TGR, do you think it would be reasonable for the Packers to franchise-tag-and-trade Elgton Jenkins to another team, like they did with Adams this year? My concerns with Jenkins are twofold: 1) Injuries; who knows when or even if he will return to form? 2) Giving Jenkins a huge contract now would limit our cap flexibility in the future. The Packers should be entering a rebuild, in my opinion, and giving Jenkins a large contract would hamper our ability to make contending cap moves in 2-3 years. I would much prefer to trade Jenkins for maybe a 2nd-round pick and draft a replacement at Guard.

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Coldworld's picture

December 01, 2022 at 10:34 am

We are projected to be over the cap to start the year. That just adds whatever amount the tag would be too that over the players projected hit. That means more cuts/releases or pushing cap forward just to get to a point where the trade occurs. It can be done but it doesn’t seem obviously logical.

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PackyCheese500's picture

December 01, 2022 at 11:46 am

There are a number of moves they can do to get enough under the cap to place the tag on Jenkins and then trade him. They include:
-Cutting Vernon Scott when he returns from IR
-Cutting Royce Newman
-Cutting or trading Aaron Jones
-Trading Preston Smith
-Trading Kenny Clark
-Trading Darnell Savage (probably for a swap of 7ths; I would be fine giving him away for beans)
-Trading Rasul Douglas (for beans too)

I see us entering a full rebuild in '23. Anyone who has a large contract or is aging shouldn't be part of the future. This will give us lots of good draft capital (especially for players like Jones and Clark) and will give us LOTs more cap space in '24 and '25, so we can hopefully contend then.

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T7Steve's picture

December 01, 2022 at 12:18 pm

You make sense. I hate seeing these players going to NFC North teams (as you know they will).

Do you think we should start a rebuild before we fix the coaching or after? Can you see a viable coach taking over this team with its problems cap-wise not to mention in the front office? We know about these problems, and I would hesitate to hire a coach that had to overlook them. What are his chances of a turn around?

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PackyCheese500's picture

December 01, 2022 at 12:51 pm

I don't think MLF is the guy; he seems like a good playcaller, but he is not a good enough leader to be a HC. He doesn't have any guts

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T7Steve's picture

December 01, 2022 at 01:06 pm

He might not be the guy. Who would you want to be the coach that would actually take the job? Maybe Lovie Smith? Actually, be good to have a D minded coach that would like to put it to the Bears for throwing him under the bus. He's probably too smart to accept but, might want another shot. Maybe AZs coach (Kingsbury sp?) after he gets fired?

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PackyCheese500's picture

December 01, 2022 at 01:18 pm

Not Kingsbury. Smith could be good, or maybe Dan Quinn, who I was thinking of. I agree with you about a D minded coach.

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T7Steve's picture

December 01, 2022 at 01:56 pm

I was just throwing Kingsbury's name out there because unless you want to elevate a FBS coach or another NFL coordinator that's the kind of candidate that would take the job under these circumstances. What have we become? Lions West?

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BirdDogUni's picture

December 01, 2022 at 01:27 pm

This is a crazy idea, but MaLF actually hasn't done a terrible job with the offense. Clement seems to have had a good influence on Jordan Love.

I don't think it's ever happened in the NFL since I've been alive, but what if you hired a guy like Dan Quinn as HC and demoted MaLF to OC? I know he wouldn't like it very much, but he is under contract. I guess that probably wouldn't work, because he was hired as the HC, but I would hate to have Jordan Love have to learn a completely new offense. That would suck!

I guess since King Mark Murphy is making up his own rules, he could take over as HC and he could name MaLF OC, but we'd still need a new DC and we really haven't had a good DC in what, two decades?

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PackyCheese500's picture

December 01, 2022 at 05:47 pm

If the Packers could do it, I would LOVE that idea (no pun intended). I also like MLF as a playcaller, but his leadership and accountability is what I have a problem with. Quinn would be a great leader and Defensive play-caller. It would also help Love's development, as you said, to be in the same offense. I'm all for it!

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jannes bjornson's picture

December 01, 2022 at 11:32 am

A refi is in order for quite a few players. They have a good idea about the health of Jenkins knee. Will he improve or decline over the next 3-4 years? The magic question.

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Thegreatreynoldo's picture

December 01, 2022 at 08:16 pm

No.

The transition tag is almost $16M and the non-exclusive tag is $17.67M. GB could only clear that kind of space if they were willing to make a host of moves that I think would be somewhere between imprudent and taking a wrecking ball to the cap. Amos will count $7.95M against the 2023 cap if he is allowed to walk. Should GB offer him $5M total, with $1.165M as a base and $4M as a signing bonus to save almost $6M? I think he lost a step, but maybe they should if it is a coaching problem. I suspect he also might be a pretty good player/coach, but I not all good solid players can coach.

BTW: OTC changed their salary cap space estimate to $7.22M today. I guessed $7.39M. They signed TE Nick Guggemos to the PS, so that might be $69K of the difference.

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BirdDogUni's picture

December 01, 2022 at 11:14 am

1. Barry should be fired the day after the season ends. (I respect MaLF's loyalty to his staff.) The only reason I am advocating for Barry ending the season is: If we fire him now, we likely win 4 of our last 5 games and that only hurts us in the scheme of things.

2. I do not envy the FO for the decisions they're about to make. The last 2 or 3 years they've tried to have their cake and eat it too. Now they're forced with making decisions about the future of this organization and it's not looking pretty. My guess is they know they're going to have to extend Jordan Love before they have all the facts. (Much like they did Rodgers with his 1st extension IIRC.)

3. The end of the Aaron Rodgers era is nigh and as sad as it is to see a FHOF'er go, it's near malpractice if we don't see Jordan Love the last 4 games of the season. I understand why AR would want to play this week. I'll even say we probably owe it to him to let him play Sunday, but we still need to see Jordan Love in live game action for the GM/FO to see what a 1st and 4th round pick for Jordan Love has gotten us.

4. Honestly, I would love to see our coaching staff and FO have the balls to sit AR this week, but I don't see them having the guts to do it. I truly believe that AR thinks he can beat duh bares, take the bye week to heal up as much as he can, and win out for a chance at the playoffs and somehow pull off a storybook ending to this season. While it isn't impossible, it is highly unlikely.

5. Knowing this FO the way we do, it wouldn't surprise me if the two series with Love producing points put them in high gear to extend Love, resulting in the restructure of Lowry's contract, but the restructure happened before the Eagles games so maybe not. Still, the FO is so dysfunctional it may still have been the motivation behind the restructure, we may never know.

6. Trying to figure out how Gutey is going to figure out a way to transition to Love is mindboggling... If the past is any indication, Gutey will trade AR to NYJ for a Pizza. (Which is another reason I'm so pissed he didn't trade him to Denver when he had the opportunity.) SMH

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PackyCheese500's picture

December 01, 2022 at 11:48 am

I'm sure we could get a first-rounder and potentially more from the Jets for Rodgers. Hopefully we do.

I see all of what you are saying, and most of it, I have been saying as well. I completely agree.

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egbertsouse's picture

December 01, 2022 at 12:20 pm

Fantastic post. I can’t quibble with anything you say and I’m a world champion quibbler.

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T7Steve's picture

December 01, 2022 at 01:28 pm

I'm just a sucker for good dogs. Wish people could match their loyalty. We're all good Packer dogs on CHTV.

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PackyCheese500's picture

December 01, 2022 at 12:00 pm

Here is what I think the Packers' free agency decisions should be:

Keep: Nijman, Ford, Barnes, Hollins, Nixon, Lewis, Cobb.
I would like to see, either this year or next, a long-term extension for Nijman. Ford, Barnes, and Hollins should receive modest 2-year deals, and Nixon maybe 3, since he seems to be a good returner. Lewis and Cobb should return, but only on 1-year contracts close to the veteran minimum

Let Go: Lazard, Lowry, Reed, Amos, Tonyan, Crosby. The Packers won't be contending next year, so I don't see a point in re-signing any of these people. We will be short on cap space next year, and if we have any left over, we can carry it over to '24. Crosby is getting too old, and I would't be surprised if he retired.

Franchise-Tag-and-Trade: Elgton Jenkins. Normally I would be fine with letting Jenkins walk, but he could bring back significant draft capital in a trade. Let him go to an OL-needy team like the Steelers or Raiders for a 2nd-round pick. Having to pay Jenkins now would hamper us cap-wise in the future when we could draft a cheaper rookie replacement.

Also sign to the roster: Ramiz Ahmed, Micah Abernathy, Tyler Goodson. These 3 players are intruiging prospects that could have larger roles next year. All showed promise in the preseason.

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Leatherhead's picture

December 01, 2022 at 01:40 pm

I agree with your keeps but I'm assuming that Lewis and/or Cobb will retire.

"""We will be short on cap space next year,"

The more I look at it, the more skeptical I am that this has to be true. For example, if we traded Jones and Bakhtiari away for a 7th round pick, it would cut over $30 million. Spotrac has us at only about $2.5 million over the projected cap right now, so those two moves change the balance on the books. . If Rodgers were traded, it would also provide some relief as well.

The Packers focus this offseason, IMO, should be about what kind of team they want to put on the field the next couple of years, and then spend the resources accordingly. Whatever QB we have, he'll do better if he has blocking in front of him, and I'd try really hard to keep Nijman and Jenkins, who could be two solid pieces of the league's best offensive line. Keep those guys on the Oline and hope that the rookies develop into players by next year. And draft another horse. Sadly, these guys get hurt and your #9 guy might end up playing more snaps than your #1 guy, so he's got to be able to play.

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PackyCheese500's picture

December 01, 2022 at 05:54 pm

Cobb maybe. Lewis has said that he wants to play for one more year. He is a good blocker, so why not keep him.

My thesis is that the Packers should get rid of their players with HUGE contracts or players that don't have a long-term future in GB (unless they would be ridiculously cheap to re-sign, like Lewis or Cobb). They should try to turn as much of these players as they can into premium draft capital. The 2023 draft is expected to be an especially stocked class; best case scenario is where we have lots of early-round selections that help to set a foundation for the next era of Packers football.

Trading Rodgers actually adds to the cap number about 8.6m because of money we would owe him. However, I think the draft capital we would accrue would be worth it. When you factor signing all the backups and the money needed to sign the 2023 rookies (I have done calculations of what I think the Packers should do in the offseason), we only have about 1.28m of cap space when all is said and done.

I agree that the goal of the offseason and the '23 season should be to lay the foundation for a future contender, and I think stripping the roster is the best way to do this. Sacrificing the present for flexibility in the future

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Leatherhead's picture

December 01, 2022 at 12:14 pm

I know that people don't appreciate Lowry here. He never misses games or practices, and he's been our 2nd best DL for many years. He's redone his contract a couple of times that have helped the team.

He's our 2nd best DL. When we have 3 or 4 guys better than him, he won't be needed. But throwing away guys who are on the gameday roster because they're "not good enough" doesn't improve your team unless they're replaced with guys who are better. That might be Reed, it might be Slaton, it might be Wyatt, but right now, he's clearly one of our best defensive linemen.

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T7Steve's picture

December 01, 2022 at 12:45 pm

Again LH, why don't they tell you why they're giving you the downs? Lots of people don't like my sarcasm so its ok not to reply, but you brought up a good point.

They could try Helfin too. CWs been for that for a while.

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Leatherhead's picture

December 01, 2022 at 01:46 pm

I have an opinion on that, Steve, but in order to properly explain I'd probably have to use words like "chickenshit" , and then that would trigger some people, so I'll have to abstain from providing an answer. Let's just say, "I'm giving you a thumbs down for asking that question".

As to the direct subject on Lowry, it appears that the recent financial manipulations have essentially cleared him off the books for 2023 except for about $2.5 million in dead money. Spotrac has us, today, at only about $3 million over the projected 2023 cap.

The question I would like to ask is that if we're paying Lowry X to NOT play for us, why shouldn't we pay X plus a little more if he's one of our 5 best DL?

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T7Steve's picture

December 01, 2022 at 02:12 pm

I bet more than half the roster contracts include void years to clear last year's cap issues. I think they were saving Lowry's to adjust for next year's cap plans. They've put us in a terrible place. They can't blame it on COVID anymore because most of the other teams have worked through that issue. It's kind of an antiquated rule in this day and age. It started when expansion teams and poor teams couldn't keep up. Now they all share billions and have billionaire owners. They should do a re-set. I like the parity; they just should come up with another way to do it. There's something wrong when 2 or three people make up more than half the cap, but those people deserve everything they make.

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LeotisHarris's picture

December 01, 2022 at 03:00 pm

LH, I appreciate the heck out of Lowry's work ethic. He has made some huge plays in his career and has always been a good teammate. He's getting his ass handed to him, play after play. No matter how much and how often he shows up, he is at best a human speed bump.

I also appreciate your football acumen and levelheadedness here at CHTV. Any compadre of Mulehead Morales is a friend of mine! That said, I'll respectfully ask by which metric is Lowry "clearly on of our best defensive lineman?"

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Leatherhead's picture

December 01, 2022 at 03:30 pm

Well, how many snaps has he taken this year in comparison to the other DL? And last year?
And in 2020?

Or the coaches just play him a lot because they want to keep better guys on the bench? Come on. He plays all those snaps because he's better than the guys that aren't.

You don't like him? Replace him with somebody better.

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LeotisHarris's picture

December 01, 2022 at 03:41 pm

I still have decent vision. I see him getting owned. I suspect there are guys on the bench who may get owned less. Why not give them a shot?

Yes, he is/has been put on the field more than the other DL by the same brain trust that served up Darnell Savage for slaughter on a consistent basis. The same wizards who have our DBs play 7 yards off the LOS on 3rd and 4. I think Lowry being seen as the world's tallest dwarf by the powers that be is indicative of what's wrong with this team.

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Leatherhead's picture

December 01, 2022 at 04:57 pm

Leotis, you're seeing him getting handled. He's getting handled, OK, you're not seeing things. I saw Kenny Clark get handled against the Eagles, too. I saw Quay Walker get dejocked for some big runs.

We play two or three down linemen on most plays, and in order to keep people fresh, we like a rotation. Sometimes a guy is hurt, and you have to go deeper into the rotation.

Ever since LaFleur arrived, it's been Clark, and Lowry, and guys like Lancaster, Keke, Montavius Adams, etc. filling out the rotation. Now we have Reed and Slaton and Wyatt.

I think Reed has had a decent year for us, that Slaton has an upside and that Wyatt could be a future star. But to get Watergate-esque here, at this point in time, none of them are much of an upgrade over Lowry.

We owe Lowry around $3 million next year, but that's it. No roster bonuses or salary or signing bonus or anything. Just $3 million in dead cap. He'll definitely be part of somebody's rotation next year, and for a lot more money than you think he's worth.

Meanwhile, we'll have a D-line unit consisting of Clark and nobody who has even shown they can stay healthy for an entire season next year, much less play at e ven an average NFL level. Looking forward to it.

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LeotisHarris's picture

December 01, 2022 at 05:46 pm

Well, LH, I guess this means if we ever meet I'll just have to punch you in the nose. That's the only way out of this, I think. One punch. Right in the nose.

I look for Lowry to leverage his connections at Northwestern to put his economics degree to work next year. At 6'6" 290 lbs. he'll be tough to move in the boardroom and will enjoy the added benefit of not being on his back during strategic planning sessions.

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PackyCheese500's picture

December 01, 2022 at 06:04 pm

The goal of '23 should not be to improve our team. It should be to get all of the big contracts that allowed us to contend in '21 and '20 off the books. We should rebuild for a year, trade away our older/more expensive players for premium draft capital, then in 2024, we will have a clean salary cap and a nice foundation of players on rookie contracts to set the stage for the next era of Packers football

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Thegreatreynoldo's picture

December 01, 2022 at 08:28 pm

LH, see above where I noted that Lowry is GB's highest graded DL.

GB will take a $3.03M dead money hit on Lowry. If they signed him to a one year deal for $3M (Reed money without an inflation adjustment), his cap would be about $4M, so in terms of cap he'd cost $1M. Hell, if they paid a base of the min and turned the other $2M into a signing bonus, he cost about $2.4M, so GB would "save" $600K on the cap. Lowry is okay as a team's 5th DL, and he'd be dirt cheap at that price. If GB did the SB bit, his dead in 2024 would be about $3.6M. As a percentage of the cap (assumes a $250M 2024 cap), it is 1.33% of the cap dead money in 2023 versus 1.44% in 2024.

For my next trick....

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LeotisHarris's picture

December 01, 2022 at 09:06 pm

Great googily moogily! So, as I said, Lowry's the world's tallest dwarf, *and* now we know he's a steal. In the land of the blind, the one-eyed man is king.

I'm still fixin' to punch leatherhead right in the nose!

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Leatherhead's picture

December 01, 2022 at 11:49 pm

Your going to have to wait in line, like everybody else. Pack a lunch.

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Thegreatreynoldo's picture

December 02, 2022 at 04:12 pm

Would it surprise you if I told you I sell used cars on the side? Great moogily googily comes in handy, sometimes!

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Leatherhead's picture

December 02, 2022 at 12:07 am

I saw. A tightly bunched group of rankings. It would be interesting to see how it compares to other teams.

I don’t think we’ll get Lowry back “dirt cheap”.. We might get a bargain. The bigger issue IMO, is getting somebody who is better than Lowry on the field. Neither Slaton nor Reed nor Wyatt is seen as that guy by the people who coach them.

We’re going to be drafting early. If we wanted to get a really good DL, maybe better than Clark, that will be our chance.

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PatrickGB's picture

December 01, 2022 at 04:02 pm

If Rodgers is told that the team plans on trading him, I would not be surprised if he just retires instead. He seems to take pride in staying with one organization his whole career. And IF he retires, I wonder what that does to our cap?

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PackyCheese500's picture

December 01, 2022 at 06:05 pm

Helps it, actually. Rodgers has a 58.6m bonus that the team has to choose to give him by the start of the '23 regular season. If he's not on our roster by then we don't have to pay him.

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Thegreatreynoldo's picture

December 02, 2022 at 04:18 pm

Not to be a pain, but....

Green Bay has to decide by February 10th, per the contract, but they don't have to make the payment until training camp. Whoever pays gets that bill on their cap, which is why he is tradeable.

I don't place too much stock in that. If AR says I will only play one year, the acquiring team is looking at $59M for one season. AR doesn't have a no-trade, but that's daunting. Yes, the acquiring team can exercise the option to chop his cap down to $15M or so in 2023, but then the dead is $43M in 2024. Even if AR wants to play two more years, he is due a guaranteed $59M in 2023 and an unguaranteed $47M in 2024 ($106M over two years). Now, perhaps he'd take a pay cut in 2024 or the contract could be manipulated, but....

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PatrickGB's picture

December 03, 2022 at 07:51 am

So, does that mean that regardless of him being on the team, we still pay him?

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ThunderFromDownunder's picture

December 02, 2022 at 04:46 am

Here`s a question , would trading AR this off season be an admission that they should have done it last year ?

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Thegreatreynoldo's picture

December 02, 2022 at 04:19 pm

4-8 is eloquent.

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