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Packers Calendar: Morgan Burnett Receives $1.5 Million Roster Bonus

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Packers Calendar: Morgan Burnett Receives $1.5 Million Roster Bonus

The news on this Saturday in the world of the Green Bay Packers is all about the free-agent signing of Julius Peppers, but it's also the day safety Morgan Burnett receives a $1.5 million roster bonus from the team.

Despite a subpar 2013 season in the first year of a new five-year contract worth a total of roughly $26 million, there was almost zero chance the Packers part ways with Burnett in order to save the $1.5 million.

If the Packers were to theoretically cut Burnett, he would count $6.6 million in dead money against the team's salary cap in 2014, $4.95 million in 2015, $3.3 million in 2016 and $1.65 million in 2017.

The approach the Packers appear to be taking is to upgrade the position at the other safety position opposite Burnett and hope that his play improves as a result.

That would certainly seem to be the case in light of allowing last year's starter M.D. Jennings leave in free agency to sign with the Chicago Bears and the emphasis on improving the team's pass rush by signing Peppers.

In-house options for improving the safety position include Sean Richardson and potentially shifting Micah Hyde from cornerback. Outside of that, any significant additions are likely to come from the NFL Draft with a first-round investment being a very distinct possibility. Safeties such as Deone Bucannon, Calvin Pryor and Ha Ha Clinton-Dix are all potential targets.

With most of the big names at safety already off the free-agent market, the only options left are those that might be will to come at a bargain price.

Burnett will make a $1.15 million base salary in 2014 but have a salary-cap number of $4.84 million. He also has per game roster bonus totaling $300,000 and a workout bonus worth $300,000 in 2014.

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Fan friendly comments only: off Comments (7) This filter will hide comments which have ratio of 5 to 1 down-vote to up-vote.

DrealynWilliams's picture

Serious question:

What is he? A Strong Safety or Free Safety? A (good) Strong Safety is usually good at playing down in the box,right? A (good) Free Safety is usually good at freelancing and making plays on the ball while in the air,right?

ben's picture

Burnett is a better roaming, ball hawking, coverage kind of safety. And like a lot of packers has been misused schematically. He had 14 INTs and 32 passes defended in 3 years at Georgia Tech. I believe he plays strong safety, but would be a better free safety in the mold of Darren Sharper.

ben's picture


ben's picture

So like we said, "he's not a thumper hitting run defender box type." maybe more of a "coverage" kind of safety.

I guess the packers and scouts disagree with both of us then.

Jordan's picture

I think the packers front 7 will have a much improved year in 2014. And because of that, Morgan Burnett will have an improved year in 2014.

A great front 7 will make an average safety look like a pro bowler. It all starts at the line of scrimmage. In the trenches. That's where most games are won and lost.

Packers will take a safety in round 1-4. The only question left is which round and what player.

jeremyjjbrown's picture

Well if the Packers have Safeties they can trust to be in position they can play more cover one. That will help the front seven out immensely.

ben's picture

I still have high hopes for Sean Richardson in his 1st full year back. Hyde learning from Jim Leonhard would be a good situation. Ryan Shazier has more pass break ups than the 2 highest rated safeties in this years draft class. He is a once in a generation in the box safety prospect and will probably be there at 21 probably due to being undersized for an NFL LB. I'm seeing our base as some Psycho Elephant package.

Those 4 players would all be upgrades at safety for 2014.

I wouldn't rule out the very talented Safety Chris Clemons, for $8.5 over 2 years. He would give the Packers a top 3 Roster top to bottom with no major need heading into the Draft.

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