The Green Bay Packers entered Monday at $50.7 million over the 2022 salary cap, according to Over the Cap. They need to be under the salary cap by March 16th when the new league year begins, and free agency opens.
The good news is that the Green Bay Packers have plenty of cap-saving moves that they can make to clear that $50.7 million figure. The bad news is that number just increased.
In an effort to clear as much cap space as possible last season, Brian Gutekunst and Russ Ball would add voided years to a number of contracts to help create cap space. In case you’re wondering what a voided year is, it’s basically a bookkeeping strategy that, on paper, adds years to a contract so teams can spread a player’s cap hit out even further–thus lowering the cap hit in the current year.
For example, Kevin King signed a one-year $5 million deal last offseason with four voided years added on. His base salary of $1 million, plus a $750,000 bonus, along with a $200,000 roster bonus and $50,000 workout bonus equaled out to a $1.92 million cap hit last season. Green Bay then took the remaining $3 million owed to King and spread that amount out equally over the four voided years as a bonus–and with this strategy, they didn’t have to absorb the entire cap hit in 2021.
Now, even though four voided years were added on to provide cap relief, King’s actual one-year deal still terminates in 2022–that is unless King and the Packers would have agreed to an extension, which they did not.
So this is the reason that the Green Bay Packers’ salary cap deficit just increased. On Monday at 3:00 CST was the deadline for teams to come to contract extension agreements with players who had voided years added to their previous one-year deals. If an extension wasn’t agreed upon, then all of the cap charges pushed to those voided years accelerate and hit the books in 2022.
In the example above with King, the Green Bay Packers took on another $3 million in dead cap for the 2022 season. But wait, there are more. De’Vondre Campbell had $808,000 pushed to voided years which are now due. Robert Tonyan had $1.88 million in cap charges that are now on record for 2022 and Chandon Sullivan $970,000.
All together that is an additional $6.73 million worth of cap charges that counts towards the 2022 salary cap. While there are plenty of ways to create cap space and push those charges to future years, at some point, they come due and hit the books, which is exactly what has happened here.
Just because a deal wasn’t reached with any of these players doesn’t mean that they can’t be re-signed–the Green Bay Packers could still try to pursue any of these players and bring them back for the 2022 season. However, in all likelihood, each player will probably hit free agency and be able to test the market beforehand.