ProFootballTalk.com on Friday reported that the salary cap for the 2013 season will be $123 million.
If accurate, that would put the Green Bay Packers approximately $21 million below this year’s cap.
Green Bay’s cap will be a shade over $130 million, when the 2012 salary-cap rollover of $7,010,832 is taken into account.
During the offseason, only the top 51 cap figures are taken into account. According to a source with access to salary data, the Packers’ top 51 players add up to $108,951,942.
That leaves Green Bay some financial freedom, though maybe not as much as you’d think.
Using the franchise tag on receiver Greg Jennings would cost $10.537 million, all of which would go on this year’s cap. A tag-and-trade deal would take all of that off the books, but he’d at least be on the cap for a day. Free agency begins on March 12, so the Packers have ample cap space in the short term.
Money will have to be spent to retain restricted free agents, a group headlined by Sam Shields and Evan Dietrich-Smith.
Signing this year’s eight draft picks will take around $4 million or $5 million.
Reserving room for contract extensions for Clay Matthews and B.J. Raji would require a big chunk of the pie. Raji’s cap figure of $6,595 million is the sixth-highest on the team and Matthews’ cap figure of $4.91 million is the eighth-highest on the team, according to the source. Typically, general manager Ted Thompson won’t sacrifice future caps for the sake of the current cap, so he’d be unlikely to back-load the deal. So, it’s a safe bet that any extensions would be several million dollars more than the players’ combined cap of $11.505 million.
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Bill Huber is publisher of Packer Report magazine and PackerReport.com and has written for Packer Report since 1997. E-mail him at firstname.lastname@example.org, or leave him a question in Packer Report’s subscribers-only Packers Pro Club forum. Find Bill on Twitter at twitter.com/PackerReport.