Packers Will Be About $12M Below Cap

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That's the bottom line once the final three draft picks are signed. What does that mean for re-signing Randall Cobb and Jordy Nelson?

With three draft picks unsigned, the Green Bay Packers are about $14.8 million under the salary cap, according to data from the NFLPA.

Only seven teams have more available cap space. The Bengals, Browns, Jaguars, Jets and Eagles all have more than $20 million in available space, led by the Jaguars at $28.5 million under the cap.

Of the seven teams with the most cap space, Philadelphia is the only team from the NFC. In the division, Detroit is about $1.1 million under the cap, Chicago is about $5.7 million and Minnesota about $7.4 million.

The league average is $9.88 million in available space.

Offseason salary caps are based on the salaries of the 51 highest-paid players on the team.

Some of Green Bay's $14,808,147 of cap space will be taken by the team's unsigned draft picks: HaHa Clinton-Dix (first round), Davante Adams (second round) and Richard Rodgers (third round). Based on the league's rookie pay scale, Clinton-Dix will have a 2014 cap hit of about $1.52 million. That's more than Adams (about $715,000) and Rodgers (about $561,000) combined. Combined, their cap hit of almost $2.8 million will reduce Green Bay's cap space to about $12 million.

While the Packers appear to be in good shape, there is more than meets the eye.

First is the obvious: The Packers have to deal with receivers Jordy Nelson and Randall Cobb, who are entering their final season under contract. Chicago's Brandon Marshall recently signed a three-year, $30 million extension. Maybe a better fit is Eric Decker, who went from Denver to the Jets in free agency with a five-year, $36.25 million deal that included $15 million in guarantees. DeSean Jackson signed a three-year, $24 million deal with Washington and Golden Tate inked a five-year, $31 million deal with Detroit.

Using Decker's contract as a guide, if Nelson and Cobb signed the same contract, which has a per-season average of $7.25 million, their combined annual salary would be $14.5 million. That's more than the Packers' available cap space, though that certainly doesn't preclude signing both players to extensions. It only means that general manager Ted Thompson and vice president of player finance Russ Ball probably will be unable to front-load the deals, which the team has tried to do over the years to maintain a healthy salary cap.

Second, according to OverTheCap.com, the Packers have $119.1 million allocated against the 2015 cap. That figure, which ranks right about the middle of the pack compared to the rest of the league, will increase significantly once the extensions are handed out to Nelson and Cobb. For comparison, the Packers entered the offseason with $109.7 million allocated against the 2014 cap.


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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 packwriter2002@yahoo.com, or leave him a question in Packer Report's subscribers-only Packers Pro Club forum. Find Bill on Twitter at twitter.com/PackerReport.

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