A Snapshot Of The Packer's Salary Cap Situation

A Snapshot of the Packers' Salary Cap Situation

As of September 2, 2019, Overthecap is listing the Packers with $9.912M in cap space for 2019.  Click here to see for yourself.  Sportrac suggests that the Packers have $9.951M in cap space. When I input the data for both sites into a spreadsheet and made a few minor adjustments, I calculated the Packers' cap space at $9.997M.

Some good news is that neither site is using the Rule of 51 to reach its result.  The layout of both sites looks like they are counting just the top 51 contracts but the numbers in my spreadsheet clearly indicate that both sites counted all 53 contracts, 10 practice squad contracts, dead money, plus IR and PUP obligations.

There is more good news: the Packers' cap space number should increase when the injured reserve situation gets resolved.  The Packers have the following players on IR:  

Name Cap # Base Salary Bonus
Jason Spriggs $1.592M $1.132M $459K
E. St. Brown $453K $570K $29K
Malcom Johnson $408K $408K - - -
Michael Tyson $408K $408K - - -
Curtis Bolton $380K $378K 2.33K

Note that Johnson, Tyson, and Bolton as UDFAs have split contracts that reduced their base pay to the minimum allowed while they are on the IR: $378K for Bolton and $408K for Johnson and Tyson (since the latter two have two credited seasons).  St. Brown as a later round pick also has a split contract but the base salary must have been negotiated since it is not the minimum allowed. Spriggs, as a second round pick, does not have a split contract. 

It appears that the Packers will keep St. Brown on IR all year and have him return in 2020.  His cap situation probably will not change.  However, I expect the Packers to release Spriggs, Johnson, Tyson and Bolton when they can pass a physical, or release the latter three by means of an injury settlement.

Spriggs will earn $66.6K for every week of the regular season he is still on the IR.  There is no way to know how long that might be.  As an example, if he can pass a physical and thus be released after 5 weeks, he would earn $333K but the Packers would then get a cap savings of $799K ($1,132,404 minus $333,060).  Bolton and Johnson both earn $24K per week.  If they both can pass a physical after five weeks, they would get paid about $111K and the Packers would receive cap savings of $297K each.  It is roughly the same for Bolton.  Since there are unknowns, I cannot calculate the Packers expected future cap savings: it could be $1M to $1.6M unless the injuries are worse than reported.

For now, I agree with Overthecap and Sportrac that the Packers will have about $9.9M in cap space after the season starts.  That does not figure in the signing of B.J. Goodson since his contract numbers are unknown at this time, or the release of James Crawford.  I would guess that those personnel moves will not affect the cap much.

I also note that $7.91M of the $9.9M cap space comes from the release of Mike Daniels.  Otherwise, the Packers would be down to $1.99M in cap space.  Yes, the Packers needed Mike Daniels' cap savings.

 

Quite a few people have entered CHTV's Weekly Pick Em but there is plenty of room for more!  It is run through ESPN.  If you wish to participate, you must sign up and submit your picks by this Thursday, September 5, 2019, before the start of the first regular season game.  Click here for the article with instructions on how to join.

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Comments (16)

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Thegreatreynoldo's picture

September 02, 2019 at 09:17 pm

FWIW, both OTC and Sportrac changed their cap space estimates in the last half hour. OTC is at $10.17M and Sportrac is at $10.5M. I am just keeping the number $10M in mind for now, and noting GB might get some relief when they release some of those guys from IR.

That relief could be zero if all those guys are hurt more severely than reported, or it could be $2M or so. I'd guess $1M to $1.6M but that's just a guess.

As a note, both OTC ($17M) and Sportrac ($22M) have increased their estimates of GB's 2020 cap space. Those figures don't include any rollover from 2019, or cutting players (ahem, Graham).

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Turophile's picture

September 02, 2019 at 09:36 pm

There is a lot to consider when calculating the cap, so I'm only too happy when someone else does the grind - thanks TGR

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J_brooks's picture

September 02, 2019 at 09:25 pm

Thanks for the breakdown James.

Does anyone know if there is any info on what injury settlements typically work out to based on a players original cap? I don’t recall coming across any numbers like that before...

Also, I’m assuming it’s part of the CBA that a team must settle with an injured player rather than outright cut him? Must be the case, especially given the Spriggs situation with whom the Pack is trying to move on from.

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Thegreatreynoldo's picture

September 02, 2019 at 09:36 pm

Depends on the recovery time from the injury. Teams can't cut an injured player during March until then end of the regular season without paying them an injury settlement, and they have to pay them while injured until they can pass a physical.

Injury settlement must be made within 5 days of the release/waiver. They are for a number of weeks of compensation of base pay, not including signing or roster bonuses. So it is one-seventeenth of only base pay times number of weeks recovery takes.

I noted in the article that Spriggs make $66k per week. Since the two sides could not agree on how long his recovery time would be, GB has to wait until Spriggs can pass a physical. If he can pass a physical after 5 weeks, it is 5/17th of his base pay ($1.132M), which comes out to $333K.

The others have base pay of $24K or $22K per week. Multiply the weekly regular-season pay by the player's expected recovery time that occurs during the regular season. If they recover and can pass a physical before the season opener, they get no money.

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J_brooks's picture

September 02, 2019 at 10:11 pm

Excellent, great info, thanks much! I didn’t realize that the settlement was based off of a recovery time, was thinking it was somehow a number based off a negotiation process. But now it makes much more sense.

Definitely gives an interesting look into the varying interests of the team v. player/agent in these types of situations.

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Thegreatreynoldo's picture

September 02, 2019 at 10:19 pm

Moreover, the CBA requires the injury settlement to be based on weeks of recovery time. GB could re-sign Bolton if he takes an injury settlement, but GB has to wait 3 weeks longer than other teams do. Weeks is the common denominator, so to speak.

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Doug_In_Sandpoint's picture

September 03, 2019 at 02:05 pm

For $66k per week I could fail physicals for years.

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stockholder's picture

September 02, 2019 at 09:41 pm

Nice- So what about Kizers guaranteed contract?

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Thegreatreynoldo's picture

September 02, 2019 at 10:15 pm

Teams can trade amounts that are guaranteed as long as the team has not paid the money yet to the player. So if Kizer had had a guaranteed roster bonus due and payable in October, his new team would have to pay him and take the cap hit.

As it happens, when GB acquired Kizer from Cleveland, the Browns had to take the cap hit for his signing bonuses, so he only had base salaries left on his deal when he got to GB. As a 2nd round pick, Kizer's base salary wasn't guaranteed, and it wouldn't matter if it had been because base salary doesn't start to be paid until the regular season starts, so his new team has to pay that money and take the cap hit for it.

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Thegreatreynoldo's picture

September 02, 2019 at 10:27 pm

Mike Tyson signed an injury settlement. No report on how many weeks he got. Probably one or two weeks. GB should get $408 - $24K (or $48K?). $386K or $362K in cap relief? Often the number of weeks never gets reported and we have to wait for OTC to put it on its dead money list.

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PatrickGB's picture

September 03, 2019 at 07:14 am

Looking ahead to next year, there will be some guys that will cost a lot to re-sign. Our cap doesn’t look as bad as the viqueens but by keeping Crosby this year there is not much of a cushion left.

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Lare's picture

September 03, 2019 at 10:01 am

If I'm not mistaken, guys like Crosby, Bulaga, Lewis and Williams are in the last year of their contracts, and the Packers can clear more by releasing Graham next year.

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Branden Burke's picture

September 03, 2019 at 04:19 pm

You should see the bears cap situation lol

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Branden Burke's picture

September 03, 2019 at 04:25 pm

The majority of an NFL roster is undrafted guys and players on their rookie contracts. Those players salaries average out to about 1 million per year.

The second or more contract guys are the ones eating up the cap space, averaging about 6 million per year on average. I would have to look up the stats, but I think those players make up around 35% of your roster.

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flackcatcher's picture

September 03, 2019 at 03:52 pm

Thanks TGR. I knew Gute would be walking a tightrope this season, but this. Just for this alone, he and his team have earned their salary for the season. Now can this team stay healthy, here's hoping.

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Thegreatreynoldo's picture

September 04, 2019 at 01:58 am

I'd prefer not to read in future how releasing Daniels was a big mistake by Gute. GB needed cap savings, and Daniels fit the bill. The only other combination of cuts that gives the cap space necessary would be Tramon ($3.75M) AND Crosby ($3.6M). Perhaps Lewis ($1.6M) also made some sense, but that was before Sternberger went on IR.

Yes, I think Daniels is still a good player and not having him reduces the team's chances for playoff success in 2019, imo. Sometimes, you have to break some eggs to make an omelette.

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