Packers Salary Cap In 2023 If Rodgers Were Traded

The cap situation would still be tight in 2023 with a trade of Rodgers, but it would be heading in the right direction.

 

Since I previously wrote an article on contending in 2023 which assumed the return of Aaron Rodgers, let's consider how things might look if the Packers traded Rodgers.  This assumes that the acquiring team is willing to assume Rodgers' contract and thus is willing to pony up $59M in cash for him for just the 2023 season, and potentially $49M more in 2024.  Here is what it might look like for the acquiring team:

 

ACQUIRING TEAM'S INHERITED CONTRACT TERMS FOR RODGERS
Year Base '23 Opt 24 Opt W/O Roster Cap Dead
2023 $1.165M $14.575M   $50K   $15.79M  
2024 $2.25M $14.575M $15.67M $50K   $32.54M $43.725M
2025 $15.85M $14.575M $15.67M 50K $5M $51.14M $60.65M
2026 $10.0M $14.575M $15.67M 50K $5M $45.25M $30.245M

 

The dead money column assumes a pre-June release.  The table also assumes that the new team doesn't rip up the current contract and negotiate a completely new contract.  The numbers for 2025 and 2026 do not really matter to the acquiring team because Rodgers is unlikely to be willing to play for $20.9M cash in 2025 - it is meant to be renegotiated at that time or envisions Rodgers' retirement.

Rodgers is guaranteed $59M in 2023 and he has an injury-only guaranteed option bonus in 2024 worth $47M plus $2.25M guaranteed base salary.  However, the injury-only option bonus guarantee becomes fully guaranteed five days after the super bowl following the the 2023 season - that is, February 10, 2024.  Teams cannot trade players in February.  They can release them or modify the contract with the assent of the player, but that timing is awkward for a team.  The acquiring team is still looking at paying Rodgers at least $59M in 2023 and a total of $106M over two seasons if Rodgers wants to play unless the team is able and willing to eat $43.725M as dead money in 2024.  Those are big numbers. 

Given those large numbers, I do not think that the Packers can expect a lot in compensation for Rodgers.  I have written in the comments over the last few days that while I would be overjoyed with a first round pick, I would take a second round pick in 2023 for Rodgers plus some kind of conditional pick in 2024.  The conditional pick could be anything from a first to a fourth (or nothing if Rodgers retires after the 2023 season) depending on whether Rodgers plays well, the acquiring teams meets certain goals in the playoffs, and/or if Rodgers plays a second year.  I doubt that the Raiders would send their first round pick (7th) or even that the Jets would send their first rounder, which is 13th for the 2023 draft.  The Jets have the 43rd pick and the Raiders have the 38th pick in the upcoming draft; either of those picks would be fine with me, plus a conditional 2024 pick that could be anywhere between a first and a fourth, depending on how things go for the acquiring team.  [I concede that I am sometimes surprised at what a quarterback-hungry team gives up for a chance at a franchise quarterback.]  The Jets can clear enough cap space to fit Rodgers in for 2023 and they have no trouble eating a huge cap hit (whether it is a dead money hit or Rodgers' scheduled $32.54M cap number.  The Raiders, after they release Derek Carr, have ample cap space in 2023 and 2024.  [I have seen articles suggesting that the Packers are asking for two first round draft picks.  What can I say other than that would be great.]

If traded in March, the Packers would take a $40.3M dead money charge, which means their cap space would be reduced by $8.7M.  This is the most likely trade scenario because the acquiring team would want Rodgers to attend all of the off-season activities and get the play book to him as soon as possible.  If the trade could be delayed until June 2nd, then the dead money hit in 2023 would be $15.8M and $24.48M in 2024.  Instead of losing $8.7M in cap space the Packers would gain $15.77M for 2023. 

WHY THE BEST PLAN IS TO TRADE RODGERS:

The hole this contract digs is already quite deep and it only gets deeper the longer Rodgers stays in Green Bay.  Rodgers cannot be released either pre or post-June in 2023.  That $59M is fully guaranteed, and it is in addition to the $40.3M in dead money that has already accrued.  Rodgers' dead money charge would balloon to over $99M with a release.  Splitting up $99M in dead money does not do enough to be feasible.  If he is not traded and can't be released, then he plays for Green Bay in 2023 absent a retirement.  Hoping Rodgers retires is not a plan.

Unfortunately, Rodgers' $47M option bonus for 2024 fully guarantees prior to the start of the new league year for 2024.  Prior to the time it fully guarantees, Rodgers' dead money charge for 2024 would be $68.2M.  To avoid the option bonus guaranteeing, the Packers would have to release him within five days of the super bowl, which is a time when the post-June designation is not available.  Thus, the Packers would need to have at least $68.2M in available cap space for the start of the 2024 new league year to prevent the 2024 option bonus from fully guaranteeing.  It would be extremely difficult for the Packers to generate that kind of space, perhaps even impossible.

One additional thought is that fans should pay no attention to statements by the front office and coaches praising Rodgers and/or indicating that the team wants him back.  A cooperative Rodgers as to a trade or retirement is much better for the Packers than a vindictive Rodgers.  If he were to submit his retirement papers May 1 of 2024 instead of June 2nd after also re-working his contract, that would be awkward indeed.  There is no upside to disparaging Rodgers with public comments and plenty of downside.

HOW WOULD THE ROSTER LOOK WITHOUT RODGERS?

To trade Rodgers, they have to keep him and his $31.6M cap number on the roster past March 16th, 2023.  By my numbers, the Packers would be $22.6M over the salary cap limit.  Tendering Nijman at $4.308M (the 2nd round tender) and Hanson as an ERFA at $940K while offsetting two roster spots means the Packers would have to generate $26,382,337 in additional cap space under the rule of 51 prior to the beginning of the new league year (March 16th).  If you want to follow along on how to reach that number, Ken Ingalls issued this excellent tweet that explains it.  I acknowledge that Mr. Ingalls comes up with a number that is roughly $300K less than my calculations.  [The Packers would have to generate a lot more cap space by week one, but I will circle back to that in a bit.]

In my "2023 Salary Cap - trying to contend" article, I listed how I would generate $50.48M in cap space.  Those moves were all simple restructures using only existing years in each player's contract except for an extension of Rashan Gary that generated $3.025M in 2023.  Presumably, the Packers do not need the permission of the players to make those moves.  Ken Ingalls calculated the cap savings (listed below) for each player using a max year restructure.  That is, adding enough void years to every veteran player's contract so that the cash converted to a signing bonus would be amortized over 5 seasons.  Those deals could only be done with the players' consent.  

Player Amt ~ Player Amt ~ Player Amt
Bakh $12.028M   Jaire $9.456M   Campbell $2.628M
Jones $11.216M   Smith $6.668M   O'Donnell $548K
Clark $11.068M   Douglas $3.336M   Gary EXT $3.025M

    

The total possible by "touching" the contract of every veteran player is $59.973M, which if done, would leave the Packers with about $9.2M to spend on free agents after tendering Nijman and Hanson, per Ken Ingalls.  That means Gutekunst has to wring $50M out of the $59M potential listed in the table, and more if possible.  That is because by game one the Packers would need the $26.38M noted above plus $8.7M to effect the Rodgers trade, plus $11M to $13M to sign the 52nd and 53rd players, provide a $5M piggy bank, pay for the PS, and to sign their draft class (including paying for the extra 2nd round draft pick from the Rodgers trade), plus a few other necessary expenses outlined in Ken Ingalls' article linked above.  

 

ARMCHAIR GM SECTION:

Since the Packers need just $26.38M initially, we armchair general managers have options as to how to generate the minimum necessary.  Under this scenario, I would restructure Clark, Alexander, and Preston Smith to generate $27.192M in cap savings, which is enough to get under the cap initially.  Without Rodgers, my concern would be to retain enough offensive talent so as to be able to evaluate Jordan Love in 2023 (and 2024 while he is on his 5th year option) while doing what I think is best for the team in the long term.  [Yes, that means I am not trying to contend for a super bowl in Love's first season under center.]  That means I would like to retain Bakhtiari and Aaron Jones.  But as an armchair GM, it would be remiss of me not to mention various possibilities.

Bakhtiari:  The Packers could release Bakhtiari with a June designation to gain $17.288M in cap space, or they could trade him after March 16 but prior to March 20 (when his $9.5M roster bonus is due) in return for a first or at least a second-round pick while gaining $5.723M in cap space.  The release with designation provides an extra $5.2M in first year cap space, more than enough to sign a high quality strong safety to replace Amos, or a tight end, center, or starting quality offensive guard.  A trade means a net negative of $6.3M in cap space, but if someone offered a first round 2023 pick, particularly if it was better than pick #20, I would have to consider that.  I think Bakhtiari is going to be healthy and play at a very high level for several more years, but a first round pick is a bird in hand.  The Packers would have to be comfortable with Nijman, Jenkins, Zach Tom, Newman, and one of Rasheed Walker, Caleb Jones, Luke Tenuta and/or rookie as their tackles for 2023.

Aaron Jones:  A normal release or trade would generate $10.461M plus on a trade the Packers might acquire a day three pick given that he is owed $16M in 2023 and $12M more in 2024.  None of his money is guaranteed.  A release of Jones with a post-June designation executed after March 16 and prior to March 19 (when his $7M roster bonus is due) would generate $16.0M in cap savings.  I think it best to retain Jones on a restructured deal, but if the Packers traded Bakhtiari, the $16M ($3.8M extra cap) would help defray the cap savings loss on a Bakhtiari trade versus his restructure.  One would have to have a high opinion of Dillon and the Packers would have to add to the RB room in the draft. 

Nijman:  After tendering Nijman, the Packers could try to trade him for a later 2nd or a top 3rd-round pick while saving $4.308M, which means they probably retained Bakhtiari.  RFA tenders are not guaranteed.  [Yes, I am aware that I indicated Green Bay should retain enough offensive talent to fairly judge Jordan Love and now my first three moves all involve losing major offensive talent.]

Douglas: Trading Douglas gains $4.23M in cap savings about $870K more than the proposed restructure.  Douglas is owed $6M in cash for 2023 and $9M in 2024, an attractive amounts for a competent #2 perimeter CB.  He is 29, so he is fine over the short-term.  The Packers would have Alexander and Stokes, plus who knows at nickel and dime back.  Perhaps the Pack could get a 3rd or a 4th for Douglas.  I don't think they can replace him easily with that, and the CB room is already thin. 

Others:  The Packers could get a nice pick for Clark, but the cap savings would be only roughly $3M.  Trading Alexander costs cap space, and Preston Smith, while they should get about $3.2M in cap savings, would still cost the acquiring team $10.6M in cash so the draft pick would be minimal.  Campbell costs money to trade.

Net Negative Smaller Moves:  The Packers have 7 players counting on the cap at $750K each.  However, the Packers probably want Leavitt (+$450K?), Wilson (+$330K), Ford (+$330K but perhaps more?), Tyler Davis (+$260K), Hollins (+$330K plus very likely more), and Barnes (his RFA should be declined?, so +$190K?).  Signing these 7 would add $1.89M to the cap, and very likely more as Hollins, Ford and perhaps Barnes will want more money than the minimum posited in this paragraph.

GB's Free Agents:  After spending the $1.89M on the negative smaller moves, the Packers have $7.31M in cap space to sign Lazard, Tonyan, Nixon, Reed, Cobb, Lowry, Lewis, and Crosby, or similar UFAs leaving other teams.  Good luck with that.  Of course, if the trade of Rodgers can be delayed until June 2nd, instead of losing $8.7M in cap space they would gain $24.48M, but not until June.  Most of their own free agents may have signed elsewhere by then.

The 2024 cap picture would not be rosy, but it would be in much better shape.  OTC forecasts that the Packers will be $33.7M under a $256M cap limit, and trading Rodgers in March remove his $40.7M cap number, pushing the free space to $74.4M.  Love's 5th year option would reduce that to $54M or so and the Packers have only 35 players under contract for 2024, resulting in another decrease of $12.72M at least, leaving roughly $41M.  All the restructures envisioned above would put a hole in that amount, but the Packers would not have to release or restructure any playes to get under the cap, and should have at least some space to acquire a modest free agent or two.  2025's cap would look good.

     

Photo courtesy of Mark Hoffman, Milwaukee Journel Sentinel - USA Today

 

 

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Comments (128)

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PackyCheese500's picture

January 25, 2023 at 08:52 pm

TGR, I agree with you that I would take whatever in compensation - what you said in your article, in my opinion, is perfect, but we may be fortunate enough to get a first round pick or more if Rodgers goes to the Jets:

https://sports.yahoo.com/peter-king-believes-woody-johnson-110052097.html

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Thegreatreynoldo's picture

January 25, 2023 at 09:49 pm

I saw that article. I think the first table that shows what the acquiring team would be looking at contract-wise says it all. I wouldn't do that deal. The Jets have -$2M in cap space. Yes, they can clear quite a bit more, but if AR wants $59M, there is no way the Jets wouldn't be looking at $30M to $43M in dead money in 2024 if AR plays just one more year.

If AR plays in 2023 and 2024, does he still require $59 and then another $47M? It is different if AR is willing to take more of a Brady deal - like $30M in 2023 and $35M in 2024.

The Raiders, after they release Carr, have a lot of space. They could assign a cap number to AR of $40M, pushing just $19M in dead into 2024. It is still a lot of money. LV makes more sense than the Jets. Why do I think the East Coast Press/Media isn't going to like Anti-vaxxer AR very much?

I also saw an article quoting AR as saying that his contract numbers would have to "shift" if he came back to GB. Who knows what that means, but shift sounds like moving money to 2024 rather than a pay cut.

The contract already is for the minimum base in 2023, and no GA bonus, with just $50K workout. There is nothing to cut there. The option bonus is leveraged (amortized). If AR took $48M instead of $58.3M (a full $10M pay cut), his proration drops from $14.575M to $12.075M each year, so GB gains just $2.5M in cap space. Useful, but it would be hard to sign Keisean Nixon with that.

The longer AR plays in GB the deeper the hole gets. It is as simple as that. It is only worth it if GB sees a super bowl, in my opinion. I don't like this team's talent enough to think well of that possibility.

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BirdDogUni's picture

January 25, 2023 at 11:02 pm

Lets trade him to duh bares. They have plenty of cap space! ;P

Kind of like Philly trading McNabb to the Redskins. AR12 can be a double-agent...

0012, destroying their cap space, getting them to sign Cobb, Big Dog, Tonyan.

It would almost be comical.

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Johnblood27's picture

January 26, 2023 at 07:56 am

If traded to duh bares would he then become Aaron McCaskey and a part of the OWNERSHIP group?

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BirdDogUni's picture

January 26, 2023 at 10:12 am

Yes... ;P

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Bearmeat's picture

January 25, 2023 at 09:09 pm

We need to cut bait and move on. Whatever the cost. I'd be happier with a 4-13 Love 2023 season than I would with a 10-7 at best Rodgers one (and that's what we'd be looking at)

I know, I know. I've been saying that since 2021, and have been sick of 12 and his coach killing/post season choking ways since 2015.

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joejetson's picture

January 25, 2023 at 09:10 pm

The Front Office has kicked the Salary Cap can down the road. Now, the end of the road is in sight. It is a brick wall. An astonishing display of mismanagement.

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Barnacle's picture

January 26, 2023 at 04:59 am

The scary thing is that Gutey acts like he thinks he is doing a great job with the huge salaries (2nd highest in the NFL)he shackled us with.

Gutey and his cheesy smirk should be dumped before he makes any more stupid huge decisions.

Some may believe he has done a lot of good things and they may be correct. The problem is that Gutey has an overpaid team locked into some awful contracts that clearly compromise our future.

Gutey screwed up the most important responsibility of his job and deserves to be fired.

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Guam's picture

January 26, 2023 at 06:58 am

Russ Ball negotiates the contracts and he reports to Mark Murphy.

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Johnblood27's picture

January 26, 2023 at 07:59 am

BINGO!

I wish everyone here that crucifies Gutey would just take a second and realize that he doesn't have decision making powers or final say over contract numbers.

Please people - lay the blame where it belongs. At the feet of Mark Murphy!

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PatrickGB's picture

January 26, 2023 at 08:43 am

I blame the silos.

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Coldworld's picture

January 26, 2023 at 10:22 am

I blame Murphy. I blame the Board for letting him break the Harlen safeguards.

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Johnblood27's picture

January 26, 2023 at 05:23 pm

Don't blame the silos... blame the dud missiles in the silos...

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Leatherhead's picture

January 26, 2023 at 03:58 pm

Please stop confusing people with facts. It's upsetting to the narrative.

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jhtobias's picture

January 25, 2023 at 09:29 pm

It is time to move forward. Take the 40 million dead cap hit and move forward . Let's be real 2023 is just gonna be a repeat of 2022 same coaching staff which is unheard of coming off a 8-9 season . Rodgers three yrs in a row has been outplayed at home by Brady, Jimmy G and Jared Goff. Enough is Enough even if he says I'm coming back tell him fine since he can't be cut and let him know your Jordans back up it is time

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Johnblood27's picture

January 26, 2023 at 08:00 am

Oh my!

I want to be in the room when that little tidbit of news is dropped on AR!

The memes that could be made from the look on his face would be absolutely priceless!

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Swisch's picture

January 26, 2023 at 11:59 am

Right on, jhtobias! Just because a stupendous mistake was made in giving this contract to Rodgers doesn't mean we should compound that mistake by starting Rodgers at QB in 2023.
It's time to go with Love regardless of what Rodgers wants. It's time to get past what Rodgers wants.
I would be nice to Rodgers just out of courtesy and appreciation for past performance, but not obsequiously overnice just to avoid him retiring. If we have to bear the brunt of his contract, then sobeit.
Otherwise, if Rodgers doesn't like it, he can go to the practice squad. Really.
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It's painful to have to pay Rodgers, limiting our options for other players, but this could be a good thing in a way.
There is already a lot of young talent on the Packers, plus this upcoming draft. Let's focus on developing this talent, especially since we don't have the luxury of signing high-priced players from other teams. Maybe this is for the best.
As early as this next season of 2023 , we could contend for the playoffs at about 9-8. After that, maybe the Packers gel with a new generation of Super Bowl contenders.
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Maybe I missed it skimming TGR's article -- which overwhelms me with math -- but how it is that the Packers gave a contract to Rodgers that pays him even if he retires?
That seems to be exceedingly stupid. Is there any good reason to do such a thing?

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stockholder's picture

January 25, 2023 at 09:32 pm

And to top this all off. Love will demand a Trade.
I'm not ready to trade Lambeau for Soldier Field.
Nor do I feel anyone will help the Packers Cap.
But there must have been a plan when Adams Left.
So let's play the hand we're Dealt. Rodgers stays.
Keep what you can, and let Rodgers rework his.
If Rodgers goes. Gutey Goes.
It's the only way MLF gets a fair shake.
You can't afford Love. either. Trade him!
Draft a Rookie and reset the clock.

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BirdDogUni's picture

January 25, 2023 at 10:11 pm

You really are funny. Haven't got a clue, but funny, nonetheless.

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ricky's picture

January 25, 2023 at 10:52 pm

I agree, except this guy is not funny, except in the head.

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Oppy's picture

January 25, 2023 at 11:13 pm

It's almost like you didn't read the article, or don't understand the implications.

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jurp's picture

January 26, 2023 at 06:54 pm

Par for the course for stockholder. Based on his posts, it's pretty obvious that he's never understood anything about the Packers' organizational structure or player evaluation process.

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BirdDogUni's picture

January 25, 2023 at 10:01 pm

TGR -- Ya done good. The numbers make my head spin, so I'm glad we have you to slog through them. Tbh, I don't care what the numbers are as long as we can trade him. My biggest fear is Murphy won't let Gutey trade him and we're stuck one more year, screw up any chance of finding out if Love is or isn't the future.

Not sure how we can not trade AR12, but I'm sure they'll figure out a way to screw that up too.

Sure Murphy and Gutey are more scared than they want to admit, since they've screwed the pooch on this one worse than TT did the Favre fiasco, I'm sure they don't want to screw this up. The only way I can see they don't screw it up is to come out publicly and say they've decided to go younger, and while AR12 has meant so much to the Packers, they're at a crossroads. The best thing for the franchise is to give Love his shot, trade AR12 and hope for the best for everyone concerned, but I doubt that happens.

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T7Steve's picture

January 26, 2023 at 10:05 am

You used the line I thought since I started reading all of TGRs options and the comments. "The numbers make my head spin". The numbers don't lie, so someone in the FO is. It's a shame what they've done to this franchise.

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jannes bjornson's picture

January 26, 2023 at 11:12 am

From McSweeney: "Blame the Fans." They enabled the cartel operation buying up the worthless Stock offerings, the Personal Seat License scams, the frisk for flasks shakedown at the points of entry, the plethora of jerseys worn by the opponent's fans @ Lambeau.

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Since'61's picture

January 25, 2023 at 10:34 pm

I realize that not every owner is a financial genius but they all have good financial people. That's why they are where they are. I don't see any responsible ownership team taking on Rodger's contract. If it gets reworked that's a different story but as it exists currently I just don't see it.

The Jets Owner Woody Johnson might go for it because he's a bit of an eccentric dude. Joe Namath stated earlier this week in the NYC media that he would be proud to have his #12 Jersey unretired to enable Rodgers to wear #12 with the Jets. A Namath endorsement still goes a long way with the Jets and their fans. Anything can happen and the Jets haven't had a hero since Namath and Johnson would like to be the guy who changes that.

As for other teams like Miami, I just don't enough about their owner or GM or FO to know how they might want to play it.

I'm sure that the Packers would prefer to make a deal with an AFC team and that is the correct approach. Pulling it off is another story. Thanks, Since '61

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BirdDogUni's picture

January 26, 2023 at 10:18 am

Nathaniel Hackett was just hired as the New York Jets Offensive Coordinator!

Thinking the chances of AR12 going to the NYJ just went up 40 percentage points!

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Coldworld's picture

January 26, 2023 at 12:08 pm

Interesting. I’m slightly surprised after his struggles on O this season , but it does tend to suggest that more around the league give him the credit for our 2020-21 offense than LaFleur. I agree, it seems also to lend weight to the idea that he’s seen as a draw to Rodgers. Oh the picks we should have had if that’s true.

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Coldworld's picture

January 26, 2023 at 10:45 am

Let’s think about this ‘Since 61.

For a team in a different position it isn’t unworkable and could be a win win. If Rodgers was transported to the Jets (I’m just taking an obvious example) then his first impact is, in a major market, excitement. For them the 59 million might actually be dwarfed by revenue from the buzz. Their cap can take it, their issue is a powerful roster and a lack not only of a competent QB but belief in the potential of the franchise by a largely dormant fan base. That last point is particularly bankable.

Take Rodgers out of GB and the bases of his valuation to a suitor change markedly and may not have nearly as much to do with actual production. The cost is relatively high, but short term and immediately generated media relevance and attention. I could see certain team owners licking their lips at the prospect. I could also see them being perfectly willing to drop him post season, if he is difficult and shrugging off their cap hit, and making that clear to him and still seeing it as a shrewd business move.

The world changes for Rodgers if he moves. His media attention would go sky high, but there will be real shifts in actual power too, but with his confidence I doubt he will foresee the negatives as likely. It really wouldn’t be too difficult for another ownership to just smile and say no, having banked the attention at a minimum.

Yes, I see suitors. Personally, whether we get anything of significance in trade is irrelevant: starting the cap healing process and ending the fantasy would be enough. I’d take the most that I could get, but go in to the negotiations knowing that I get huge value just by moving him. Always know your critical objectives and base pricing.

As a buyer, I’d know what I can do with his name, both on and particularly off the field. I’d also know that the Packers will still be paying to subsidize my exit route if the guy doesn’t deliver. I would also know that, by then, my franchise will have been glowing with media attention versus my in market competitors and have made me look ambitious and decisive, both on arrival and then on departure, if I handle it right. That contract is, for the acquirer, short term and palatable. I put it to you that this kind of thinking is how and why such deals can be and are done.

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Since'61's picture

January 26, 2023 at 09:02 pm

Good post Coldworld, I agree. That is why I specifically mentioned Woody Johnson of the Jets as a possibility. The Jets need a hero. Woody also wouldn't mind taking a piece of the NYC media space from the Knicks, the Yankees and the Giants in particular. The hiring of Hackett increases the possibilities. Might even mean that Rodgers has a voice advocating for the Jets to make the trade.

The jets bit on Favre they could bite again on Rodgers. In some ways they have nothing to lose. They are 53 years out from their one and only SB. What's another year or two with the chance to finally win another SB. As you correctly point out this could be how a deal gets done. Let's see what happens. Thanks, Since '61

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stockholder's picture

January 26, 2023 at 03:55 pm

Exception: the Minnesota Vikings

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Thegreatreynoldo's picture

January 25, 2023 at 10:38 pm

To be honest, I meant the article to be taken as if trading AR was a fait accompli, and that the armchair GM section should be discussed in the comments more than discussing AR.

1A) Would you keep Bakh?
1B) Trade Bakh?
1C)Release Bakh, with or without a June designation?

2) Nijman: trade or keep? One year RFA and then pay him?

3) Aaron Jones: trade, keep, release with/WO June designation?

4) Anyone else? I.E. how much of a rebuild are we talking about?

5) Also, if you've got $9M to $10M to spend, do you sign Ford, Leavitt, Eric Wilson, Rudy Ford? Hollins might not be so cheap, Ford as well, and I definitely want Hollins if his cap number isn't clean out of sight. On these guys, if signed they kick off a guy making $750K, so if Hollins make $1.75M in GB, he is using only $1M of the $9.2M/$10M budget.

6) What about the bigger UFA guys like Lazard, Tonyan, Nixon, Lewis, Cobb, etc. [I am figuring that Lazard's first year cap number would be $5M (of the $9.2M to $10M available), Tonyan at $3.5M, Nixon at $3.5 (harder to hide the cap hit if the deal is only two years), Lewis at $1.9M (has dead money to include). I am thinking Tonyan doesn't get good money, maybe $6M to $7M AAV, but TEs are weird, and it is hard to find anyone who is better than disappointing.

I don't think I can justify spending $3M to $4m of the $10M available on a part time kickoff player. I'd have to think Nixon is going to be the full-time nickel or at least the dime back. Nah, not worth it if he is only a dime back, need more snaps than a dime back.

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PackyCheese500's picture

January 26, 2023 at 09:16 am

I would re-sign Nijman and release Bakh post June first. If Nijman does well after having a full off-season to prep for playing at RT in 2023, then we should resign him in 2024. I think we need to make the transition to Tom and Nijman as our tackles of the future.

For at least one year (2023), I think GB should fully commit to a rebuild and try to open up as much cap space in 2024 and beyond as possible so we can re-assemble a contending roster then. The Packers need a salary cap reset, and the responsible action would be to do so here. This would be done through the cutting/trading of vets like Rodgers, Bakhtiari, Jones, and P. Smith.

I would release or trade Aaron Jones before June 1. We need the 10.4m of cap relief to get under the cap before the new league year and resign other players. I would also release or trade Preston Smith before June 1. We may get a day 3 pick for him if we trade him, and while it doesn’t provide much 2023 relief (only about 3.3 million), it opens up lots of space for the 2024 cap.

I would bring back Lewis, Hollins, Ford, Wilson, and Nixon, and let everyone else walk. First of all, each of the first four guys would be cheap-ish - probably nothing more than 2m/year. They provide quality depth, and we don’t have to spend much on them. Lewis also brings good blocking and leadership to the team. Nixon we definitely resign not just because of his returner skills but for the valuable CB depth he provides. He played well in the slot this year, and is overall a very valuable player in many ways to this team, and he wouldn’t be abnormally expensive. Also remember that Lazard and Tonyan will be 28 and 29, respectively.

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Thegreatreynoldo's picture

January 26, 2023 at 11:58 am

I'd bring back Hollins, Wilson, Ford, Wilson (who was excellent on STs) and Leavitt. They don't add up to much. Lewis at $1.5ish, but he is not a long term asset so I don't see too much point. Maybe mentoring that TE some have us picking in the first or if they like a couple of TEs later? The draft is supposed to have some depth, I gather.

Nixon isn't worth 2 years, $12M, which is a common deal being tossed around for him. He is 25 so he could be part of a long term plan.

Bakh and Jones in the scenario bring $23M on restructures. Jones on a post june release brings $16M and Bakh $5.72M on a trade. That's close enough to the $23M to make that scenario work. (If the goal is to clear the cap, doing post june designations doesn't do that, it just shifts it. But the first round pick for Bakh makes doing a post June on Jones worth it, IMO.)

IDK about Preston. The defense looks bad without him. $3.2M on a trade is also going to make it hard to make ends meet. He is 31.

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Swisch's picture

January 26, 2023 at 12:34 pm

TGR, are you saying that trading Aaron Rodgers is likely (or that it's a fait accompli only for discussion purposes of what we'd do as far as signing other players)?
***
Aaron Jones is a special player in terms of talent -- a chain-mover and a gamebreaker -- with youth still on his side and apparently an excellent attitude.
I'd try to keep him most of all for continuity in the offense as far as producing points, especially with such large turnover at the wide receiver position with the losses of Adams, MVS, and possibly Lazard.
***
In general, I like keeping our players whenever it's reasonably possible for a contract that works for both sides. I like a somewhat steady roster of guys who have performed well for the Packers, and whom we've gotten to know and like.
Also, if the Packers (including the fans) care about the players, the players are more likely to care about the Packers (including the fans) -- and that's good for results on the field, it seems to me. It bears mentioning that this means keeping the kind of players who are interested in more than just money, and appreciate being a Packer.
Also, I'm generally against total rebuilds and starting from scratch. I think it's good to keep some talent and at least trying to contend every season, even while the emphasis is on the future.
That said, if the albatross of the Rodgers contract prevents us from reasonably signing the likes of Lazard, Preston Smith, Tonyan and Bakh, even Jones -- all of whom I'd like to bring back -- then that's what we have to do. Let's go all in with the young guys, including the upcoming draft.
Start Love in 2023, and begin a new era.
Especially if it's true that the longer we keep Rodgers, the deeper we get into paying him, let's take our lumps now and move with boldness into a new future at quarterback.

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Thegreatreynoldo's picture

January 26, 2023 at 01:47 pm

It was a scenario meant to lead to a discussion of what other moves should then be taken. But I did take some time and space to indicate why trading AR is a good idea, so I see why you could wonder. That said, trading AR is the best course to take, in my opinion. I am less clear on which of the other big money veteran players should also go/get traded/get released. At that point, when deciding on whom to keep, how to get under the cap comes into play. It is all connected. GB can't just release all of their veteran players to get under the cap. Some have to be restructured.

Cleaning up the cap (or cleaning up the balance sheet as an accountant might say) came next for the 2024 season. I don't want to focus so heavily on cleaning up the cap that Love has a hopeless task of running a decent offense. It just so happens that most of the viable chess pieces are on offense: primarily Bakh, Jones and Nijman. I don't think a retooling is in order: it is more of a rebuild.

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MainePackFan's picture

January 26, 2023 at 02:56 pm

Thanks TGR.
Spotrac lists a "potential out" after 2 years that would leave the Packers with a dead cap hit of 24.4M if released/traded before 6/1. If released/traded after 6/1/24 his prorated dead cap hit for 2024 would be 8.1M and 16.3M for 2025.

You didn't mention it in the article, but Is that how you see it as well? And If he is traded in 2023, is it safe to assume that would also be an option for the team he was traded to?

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Thegreatreynoldo's picture

January 26, 2023 at 05:40 pm

No, I don't see it that way for post June trade in 2024.

Spotrac does write 2 years, $101.5M, $24.48 dead. That is incorrect.

When one hits the X, Spotrac indicates a pre-June trade results in $40.313 in dead money. That's correct. Spotrac indicates a cap savings of negative $8.69M. That's correct (I've been rounding to negative $8.7M in the article).

Spotrac's post June trade numbers are a dead of $15.833M and cap savings of $15.79M in 2023 with $24.48M dead in 2024. That is correct and is in the article.

However, if AR plays in 2023 and then is cut, released, or traded in 2024, I don't agree with Spotrac on any of their numbers, regardless of pre/post/cut/trade/release.

I gather that the Jets hired Nathaniel Hackett as OC. Denver tried that and it didn't work. I hope it works for the Jets.

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MainePackFan's picture

January 26, 2023 at 07:47 pm

Thanks for replying to my message. I did hit the X. In 2023 it shows the $40.3M you spoke of in your article.

Where it appears to differ from your analysis is 2024. When you hit the X it shows the numbers I posted. From what i gathered from your article you see a 68.2M dead cap hit.

This is where I get confused. I see the math. If the Packers kept Rodgers in 2023, they would have paid him a total of 101.5M. The cap hit would have been 60.1M. It looks like they are recognizing just the original 40.8M signing bonus which it looks like was prorated over 5 years. (8.160M per year.).

The difference in the analysis' is that you recognize 2023 option of 58.3M (14.575M x4) would have 3 years left to account for (43.7M) in addition to to the original signing bonus that would have 3 years left (24.48M). I assume this is where you arrive at 68.2M.

Do I have that correct, and if so, why would Spotrac not see it that way?

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Thegreatreynoldo's picture

January 26, 2023 at 09:20 pm

I think you are spot on. I don't know why Spotrac has those numbers. I think that site is wrong, and not for the first time.

OTC gives the same numbers, but when you click on post june trade, it shows the numbers for a post June, 2023 trade. OTC doesn't give you the numbers for a 2024 post June trade.

So, the $15.83M number you see is the $7.67M old prorated signing bonus from the previous contract, plus the $8.16M proration from the $40.80 option bonus in 2022 divided by 5 years ($40.8/5 = $8.16M). That $15.83M is his dead money if traded in 2023 post june.

The $15.79M as cap saving in 2023 you see is the the stuff GB does not have to pay in 2023 if they trade him, so $1.165M base plus $14.575M option bonus proration (now paid the Jets/Raiders/?) and the $50K workout bonus. Just to be difficult, AR probably won't show up for the workouts, but GB wouldn't pay it either way. if he did show up for 30 days in GB, the workout would be earned probably by June 2nd but not paid, and which team actually issues the check is what matters.

The $68.2M is obtained exactly as you state. If and when I retire, you might see if CHTV is looking for a new cap writer. Check the link where I have a much better outline of how AR's contract works. OTC and Spotrac don't use enough columns to show their work which makes it hard to follow along. [I didn't like the contract much since I called it a monstrosity - the link below has my original title, but it got changed to "It isn't pretty, but here comes AR's new contract."

https://cheeseheadtv.com/blog/now-comes-the-monstronsity-aaron-rodgers-n...

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MainePackFan's picture

January 27, 2023 at 02:34 pm

" If and when I retire, you might see if CHTV is looking for a new cap writer."

You kidding me? My brain hurts just trying to figure this one out lol.

I appreciate your response. Not to continue this conversation into eternity, but there appears to be a structural difference between signing bonus and option bonus.

The signing bonus was fully paid to Rodgers in 2022, but prorated for SC purposes. I get that the Packers owe that to the cap.

However, the 2023 bonus is listed as a option bonus ( which apparently also offers proration).

I'm curious to know if the option bonus language offers yearly options that the player or the team could turn down. Maybe that's what Spotrac is interpreting.

Considering Rodgers year to year retirement decisions (understandably) it seems like that would be a good thing. Thanks again TGR.

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Swisch's picture

January 26, 2023 at 03:27 pm

It seems there are a lot of moving pieces that are hard to juggle: which players we want the most, which players are most wanting to be with the Packers, the amount of their salaries -- plus how much does it cost against the cap to keep/restructure/trade/release each of them.
Then there's assessing talent as far as past performance, more importantly projecting future performance, injury history, and character.
As I understand it, it overwhelms me.
At times I inclined to try to keep all of the vets, other times to get rid of them all.
What seems more responsible, and more of a challenge, is to keep some but not all.
Ultimately -- although I think the viewpoint of the fans is worth taking into significant consideration -- it should be the GM in consultation with the coaches (not the CEO/president) who knows the players by far the best in terms of talent/character, and makes the calls.
***
I just can't help but thinking that Aaron Jones, only 28 as of December, is such a dynamic part of the offense as runner and receiver, that he should be the first priority -- especially adding in his character.
There is some interchangeability to running backs behind good offensive lines, but not all running backs are playmakers of the caliber of Jones (although if Jones wants overmuch money, I'm wondering if Goodson, based on his preseason splash, has a similar it factor as far as playmaking; the thing is Goodson is unproven in the regular season).
With Adams and MVS gone, and maybe Lazard leaving, Jones seems all the more important.
***
If it looks like Bakh is ready to really be healthy, it would be sad to part ways now.
However, maybe it's more realistic, in terms of salary and youth, to keep Nijman as a right tackle, then put Tom or Jones in place of Bakh at left tackle. If Tom and Jones can both be top tackles, maybe move on from Nijman. (Perhaps Jenkins is best left as a superior guard if his asking price isn't too high, and don't move him around anymore -- or move on from Jenkins and possibly put Nijman or Tom or Jones at guard. Then there's this draft. It does all get complicated).
Perhaps including Bakh would help another team to be more likely to trade for Rodgers, although their combined salary hit could be prohibitive.
***
To me, the key is to trade Rodgers and move on to Love.
It's not because I hate Rodgers, or that he's kind of broken my heart, but because he is a bad combination of increased ego plus declining skills -- and, as you seem to say, TGR, his salary burden gets worse by the year.
I've tried to patient with him, but he doesn't seem ready to make substantial changes as a player who is more coachable and agreeable and involved, as best I can tell.
My best to Aaron Rodgers, and in the future may he prosper as a player and a person.
***
(Out of breath . . . so will end.)

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PackyCheese500's picture

January 26, 2023 at 12:58 pm

"Lewis at $1.5ish, but he is not a long term asset so I don't see too much point. Maybe mentoring that TE some have us picking in the first or if they like a couple of TEs later?"

Exactly.

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PackyCheese500's picture

January 26, 2023 at 02:51 pm

I don’t know if Bakh is worth a first, but that is a good idea to trade him and get good value before J1. The Chiefs could be a potential suitor, maybe? A second round pick of theirs, I think, is fair.

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BirdDogUni's picture

January 26, 2023 at 07:28 pm

Can we trade Bakh, Preston, and Aaron Jones? Anything we can get for any of them would be found money and the cap space would be useful. Even if we traded them after the draft, the picks next year could be what we need to reload the quickest?

If we were to trade Rodgers to the Jets, we could go OLBer at 13 (Tyree Wilson)_and OT (Broderick Jones) at 15 to replace Preston Smith and David Bakhtiari. Granted, we'd probably have to retain Nijman too as insurance on the OL, while the rookie develops, but having a LT of the future could be exactly what this team needs most.

We can draft a couple RBs. One in the 5th (like Jones was) and one in the 7th. (Whoever has the highest upside.) If we could trade AR12, Bakh, Smith, and Jones, we'd have our cap sorted out, picks for this year and next year, and be well on our way to being back in contention. Especially if we were to get as lucky in the draft as we did last year!

What do you think?

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PackyCheese500's picture

January 26, 2023 at 07:33 pm

I completely agree. I don't know if we'll be able to trade all of them, as in the end, we have to prioritize cap relief over draft picks, but It'd be nice!

I think we should seriously explore Tyler Goodson as our next pass-catching RB. He looked great in the preseason, and I'm sad he didn't get more opportunities on offense. He could fill Jones' role in a tandem with Dillon, and mix in some Pat Taylor as the #3 RB and there's a decent RB room.

If the o-line improves next year (my guess is that everyone except Myers almost certainly will; our Center is the unknown), they could do some damage.

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Thegreatreynoldo's picture

January 26, 2023 at 08:36 pm

Can we trade Bakh, Jones, and Preston?
Noooo, yeeesss - it is close. Maybe?

On a trade, GB gets $5.722M for Bakh, $3.28M for Presont and $10.461M for Jones (IIRC). That's $19.463M in cap relief. The restructures envisioned in the article bring $29.912M in cap relief. That's $10.449M less than the restructures. Please recall that Ken Ingalls thought GB had $9.2M to spare after all those max void year restructures. So, GB would be a little short, about $1.2M short (and could sign no one - not Leavitt, Hollins, Wilson, X, Y Z...). And everyone else would have to sign on the dotted line for the amounts noted in the article.

Now, Ken Ingalls included a $5M in season piggy bank. Might the team get by on $4M? Cutting it close, because remember there aren't many places to generate cap space if a lot of guys go on IR/PUP, but yeah, some years that's enough.

Could you wring a little more out of Gary's extension? BDU, you get him liquored up and I'll have the papers and a pen ready. Maybe we all could do the Texas two step or The Sidestep from Best Little Whorehouse in Texas - in fact, that'd be a good place to meet Mr. Gary. Instead of getting $10.89M cash in 2023, you convince to take a $5M signing bonus amortized over 5 years, the minimum base, and $500K WO and GA bonuses, and voila, we got $8M in cap savings instead of $3.025M. But Mr. Gary is expecting $25M in a signing bonus in the next 45 days, so you explain why $7M cash is a good idea. Probably need a really big option bonus in 2024.

Ken Ingalls did leave those 8 players who were restructured with their workout bonuses and game active bonuses. maybe they'd convert them to signing bonuses? That actually would add up. There is a bit over $4M in game active bonuses and $3.65M if I counted right in workout bonuses. A little known CBA rule about if you guarantee a workout bonus they automatically become signing bonuses could be used. That would open up maybe $5.5M or $6M (done in my head). Scraping the barrel.

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BirdDogUni's picture

January 26, 2023 at 08:53 pm

Damn - I didn't realize it was that bad. How stupid is our FO?

Pretty %'in stupid, I'd say.

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PackyCheese500's picture

January 26, 2023 at 09:41 pm

I don’t know why Russ Ball is even still in the organization

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Since'61's picture

January 26, 2023 at 10:14 pm

That's is what I have been trying to say for the last 2 seasons. Once Murphy proclaimed that "We're not idiots." I knew the packers were done at least for the short to mid-term and here we are. Thanks, Since '61

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T7Steve's picture

January 26, 2023 at 10:09 am

What about Lowery? Did you mention him and it went over my head (not hard to do)?

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Coldworld's picture

January 26, 2023 at 11:10 am

He’s a FA. No, I most definitely would not resign him except at league minimum for depth if no one else does. Slaton and Wyatt are better and we need youth with the potential to be better than he is. We also need to draft DL. We must not overpay to aspire to mediocrity. He had been the poster boy for that for a while. Those players become a block to improvement.

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BirdDogUni's picture

January 26, 2023 at 07:48 pm

I wouldn't sign him even as depth at vet minimum. Might as well bring in a practice squad player with huge upside. Cheaper too.

We both know we have to have cheap young players to make this work until the cap gets sorted out. Lowry is more of a liability than anything. Good riddance.

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jannes bjornson's picture

January 26, 2023 at 11:29 am

Lowry is history. They drafted a guy with the #29 and had him sit half the season, until Lowry went down. Wyatt made plays. Get Keeanu Benton or Mazi Smith to fill the inside and get better. Refi Bhak and keep the All Pro. Nijman can be replaced as a backup, he's nothing special. Draft an OT in the high rounds to fill the RT spot. Lazard will be getting overpaid by another team. The Jets wasted a pick on Wilson. Did they Interview this guy at any time to test his mettle when being criticized? They could also make a play for Dan Jones if the Giants can't sign him up.

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Leatherhead's picture

January 26, 2023 at 04:02 pm

"Lowry is history. "

In Green Bay. The correct sentence would read like this:

"Lowry is history in Green Bay. He'll play somewhere else next year for a lot more money than I think he's worth."

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Coldworld's picture

January 26, 2023 at 11:08 am

I’d definitely tender Nijman. At the very least I want the compensation. I’d definitely trade Bakh and play younger. Personally I’d do the same with Jones. In both cases I think we have younger talent that can adequately carry the load in Love’s first year and possibly form a core for beyond. We have to find out. We need to know what we have and grow it, we need future cap relief and we need picks to supplement. I’d hang on to Smith because we need time to develop with Gary’s injury.

As to the others, I’d try to keep Hollins and Rudy Ford, but only at back up pay. I’d definitely try to keep Nixon, as a DB as well as to return. Obviously I don’t know what is market price is, but if we were to lose Bissacia and his team, he at least deters some areas of exploitation of our STs alone. I’m not paying him 10 million guaranteed, but I think a performance based contract would be both doable and justified. I’d also offer Walker a deal for ST reasons before trading starts.

The others I’d probably let test FA or offer league minimums. Hollins and Ford too if they are being unreasonable in their demands. I would move on from Lazard and Cobb. We need better and that takes snaps in this kind of year. If Lazard was still out there cheap later, that might change, but I doubt that. I think he gets overpaid elsewhere and I don’t begrudge him that. I’d take the same approach to Tonyan. To be honest, I’d try to bring back Amos, but I doubt he will want to return to Barry—just a gut feel. S makes me very nervous.

It’s time to be ruthless. Anyone not projecting to be a starter or quality role player in 2025 is a potential to either trade or plan to before that as opportunities allow.

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stockholder's picture

January 26, 2023 at 03:57 pm

If Rodgers goes, you Move Everyone!

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BirdDogUni's picture

January 26, 2023 at 07:49 pm

That is your best comment since before I can remember...

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Oppy's picture

January 25, 2023 at 11:15 pm

What I'm getting out of this article is that the Packers shit the bed even harder than I thought they did when they failed to move Rodgers for a king's ransom last year and instead gave him what I already thought was a death-knell contract.

Wow, we're royally screwed if we don't find a way to move Rodgers. Is that what I'm reading here? Because I feel like that's what I'm reading here.

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Thegreatreynoldo's picture

January 25, 2023 at 11:32 pm

That wasn't my intent, but it is a fair conclusion. I've been saying that the front office needs to have a good relationship with AR because he can throw a major spoke in the wheel if he wants to. I also wrote before he signed that new deal that my break point was $37M AAV, and he got $50M+ and really $60M more than he was scheduled to receive.

GB is going to lose some guys they wanted to keep. When AR said he wanted GB to keep Bakh, Jones, Lazard, Cobb, Lewis (whatever), he was delusional. His tone changed lately, so maybe someone showed him Ken Ingalls' tweet.

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Bure9620's picture

January 26, 2023 at 06:59 am

It really is incredible how so many call Aaron Rodgers brilliant, and then to hear him say these things. He is delusional. It tells me Aaron Rodgers does not understand math. Perhaps Player/GM should have just allowed the GM.....to GM

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Coldworld's picture

January 26, 2023 at 11:37 am

Most people in his position are surrounded by a coterie that filter information. They often get divorced from reality. That’s in top of what comes from years of been feted by the media and fans. Personally, I think his decision to return last year was driven by over confidence in his own abilities and what they could achieve despite anything. That overrode his common sense as much as Murphy’s hubris did ours.

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Iain's picture

January 26, 2023 at 02:43 am

I would think most people agree with this, Oppy.

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fangirl's picture

January 25, 2023 at 11:33 pm

Rodgers does have a voice in a trade destination. He's from a small town near Sacramento (Chico).
He has lived in Green Bay for 18 years (6 mos per year), which is similar to Chico. His other home is in Malibu w/ a population of 10,000.

He knows the NY Press would have a field day w/him.
I don't think NY is a destination for him.

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T7Steve's picture

January 26, 2023 at 10:13 am

Remember, he is building near Nashville..

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Leatherhead's picture

January 26, 2023 at 12:03 pm

I'm seeing Las Vegas as a destination.

Carr's cap hit for next year is almost all salary, and they could save $30 million by just releasing him, never mind trading him.

They have all their own picks in the draft, plus a few extra on Day 3.

It would reunite the Rodgers/Adams connection, and probably make Las Vegas more competitive in that division.

It's Vegas, baby.

To me, that's more realistic than scenarios with the Jets or Titans or anybody else I can think of.

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BirdDogUni's picture

January 26, 2023 at 08:16 pm

Just depends on who bids the most and we'll have to wait and see.

The three teams with the most cap space are all NFC teams. Bears, Falcons, Giants. I seriously doubt Murphy has the balls to trade him to the Bears, but it would be funny watching AR12 ruin their cap.

Bengals don't need him. Texans, Patriots, Seahawks, Ravens, and Raiders are next. Don't think Patriots or Seahawks would be his destination.

Maybe you're right Lh, maybe the Raiders will bid the most?

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Coldworld's picture

January 27, 2023 at 09:39 am

The big win is if there is more than one active suitor. Here’s hoping.

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Coldworld's picture

January 26, 2023 at 11:32 am

Rodgers can refuse to play. In that situation his contract tolls. He could then do a Favre and turn up, but post June 1, we’d have the option to trade him wherever if he wanted to play. He can’t afford to sit out a year, and he knows it. He can’t do real media work without retiring. He’d hate that. He’d probably be forced to redo a much lesser contract to post elsewhere or retire. The difference is that I think the fan base has seismically shifted, and perhaps his media advisers are breaking that to him. Actually, I think he’d love the attention he’d get playing in NY or any mega market. Whether that’s wise is a legitimate question, I agree.

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jannes bjornson's picture

January 26, 2023 at 11:49 am

If the Jets wanted a Packer QB, they would try to deal for Love.

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PackyCheese500's picture

January 26, 2023 at 01:01 pm

The only team that truly knows what Love is is the Packers. Other than that, what every other team has seen is one not great game in 2021 and minimal snaps at the end of games in 2022.

Love is an unknown quantity to other teams (and still somewhat is to us). I do not think the draft capital NY would be willing to give for Love would reflect what the FO would take for him.

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ArlenWilliams's picture

January 26, 2023 at 05:50 am

Should the Packers executive staff all be fired, for drafting Love then giving Rodgers this contract?

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HawkPacker's picture

January 26, 2023 at 07:41 am

Possibly but not for drafting Love. They drafted Love because they saw an opportunity to draft a player at a premium position that they felt was head and shoulders above the other available draftees. Plus, Rodgers had a terrible couple of years and I believe many of us as well as the FO felt Rodgers may be at the end of the talent line.

Well that all changed when Rodgers went on to win two MVP's. I am of the opinion that Love is partially responsible for those MVP's.

These are my thoughts on this subject. However, I was all in favor of trading Rodgers last year when Denver would have given the packers so much draft capital and players as well.

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BirdDogUni's picture

January 26, 2023 at 08:56 pm

Yes

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Guam's picture

January 26, 2023 at 07:03 am

Thanks TGR! You educated me on the 2023 impacts that I had clearly gotten wrong. As always, appreciate your hard work and insight into the cap.

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HarryHodag's picture

January 26, 2023 at 07:47 am

1) Send Rodgers to an AFC team...Las Vegas or Jets.
2) Trade David B.
3) Resign Nijman and move him to left tackle. Zach Tom to right tackle.
4) Ask Aaron Jones for a pay cut and failing that either cut or trade.
5)Tonyan and Nixon should be retained. All other FA's go bye-bye.

This puts pressure on finding a safety in round one who can start right away. There are a bunch of good tight ends this year so one could be found as late as round 3. They will also need a huge DT via the draft to shore up the run game. Sad to see Mason Crosby go but I think the time has come.

The more I see the cap hell the Packers are in the more I appreciate Ted Thompson.

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Johnblood27's picture

January 26, 2023 at 08:06 am

I liked Ted, minus the drooling...

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Packerpasty's picture

January 26, 2023 at 08:57 am

I don't think you can "send" him anywhere without his approval, right?

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Coldworld's picture

January 26, 2023 at 11:43 am

He has stated that he did not ask for a no trade clause, so, contractually, yes, we could. He could refuse to play, but that’s about his only recourse.

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PackyCheese500's picture

January 26, 2023 at 09:18 am

No Tonyan and no Jones. Tonyan is 29 and not that great as a TE, Jones is great but at age 28 with his cap hit, retaining him is hard to justify, especially since we are in dire need of any cap relief we need to scrounge up. Ford, Wilson and Hollins should stay, because they are good depth players and starters if necessary, and they won’t cost much.

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Thegreatreynoldo's picture

January 26, 2023 at 10:40 am

1. Pick 38 (LV) or 43 (Jets) for AR is fine with me + a conditional.
2. I need a first for Bakh, and I think a decent first - 20th or better.

3. If GB keeps Bakh, I'd trade Nijman for a 2nd, or a 3rd in the top 10 of that round (like better than pick 74). Does Nijman still have upside? He might, so that's what gives me pause. At present, my opinion isn't as high as other fans have of him. I don't think he is good enough to start at LT or RT. He needs help, and GB would always be looking to upgrade. Perhaps some team will sign him to an offer sheet. Sigh, Nijman is still young, as he turned 27 two weeks ago. Not quite as young as I thought. If Nijman has upside, this comment of mine might age very badly.

4. I'd keep Jones. I am not as big a fan of Dillon as others. I don't think a trade brings much. The pay cut?

But you got me wondering, so I checked other RB deals. I can't find any other RB who gets $16M cash in a single season except Kamara, who is scheduled for $22M in 2025. First, that looks like it was meant to force a renegotiation. Second, the cap will be much higher in 2025 than it is in 2023. I'd guess it will be $270M plus in 2025. Zeke Elliot got close and IIRC Derrick Henry came close in year one counting his signing bonus and first year base. A pay cut is not unreasonable, but it is hard to ask for a cut when you're asking for extra void years. Of course, you wouldn't be asking for that. You have a point.

5) We disagree completely on Nixon. Andy Herman said Tonyan's blocking improved, but he didn't really seem thrilled with it. I don't know where to find a TE, but they need an inline TE just to use many of their common formations. I don't want to pay much. $7M AAV with a favorable structure? IDK about Tonyan. I think the draft is the way to go. Find a blocker. I don't care too much if he can stretch the seam.

I just can't find money for Crosby. I'd keep him for $2.5M if GB had the means. I think they will have to let him go. Just remember, GB can't find a decent long snapper so my hopes of them finding a decent field goal kicker is not high.

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Coldworld's picture

January 26, 2023 at 11:50 am

I’d take less for Bakh. He’s great, but will always have durability questions and will be 32 next season. More importantly, we have young players that can replace him adequately and moving in helps set our cap on the mend as well as developing those players. Id say he’s a classic example of a player for which, were I bidding to trade for him, I offer you a lower pick now and a future one based on performance or, post June 1, pick(s) the next year determines based upon performance. To be honest, I’d see a similar structure as likely for Rodgers. Jones is, to the right suitor, perhaps the most obviously valuable piece in terms of a set pick price.

Generally, if we move on from Rodgers then we need to start moving to a group that are going to be around future QBs. That means replacing the 28/29 year olds and up over the next year or two. That starts with not bringing back ones we have depth behind that’s credible or who are so so and out of contract. Then you also need to weigh the potential return in terms if picks and cap for the likes of Bakh and Jones as well. Jones isn’t going to be replaced like for like, but Dillon is here this coming year and we have a chance to see what Goodson can do or a draft pick. Jones would make us better in the short term, but long term he’s not going to help and his price and failure to realize value will act against the current benefit. That to me is one reality forced by what we already handed to Rodgers.

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PackyCheese500's picture

January 26, 2023 at 01:03 pm

Nijman over Bakh all day. Yosh is cheaper and more reliable injury-wise, and GB needs the cap relief that a post J1 release if Bakh would free up

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PackyCheese500's picture

January 26, 2023 at 06:35 pm

I would accept a 2nd for Bakhtiari - the injury concerns are still there.

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BirdDogUni's picture

January 26, 2023 at 08:59 pm

What he put on tape though at the end of the season proves he's still a top LT in the league, so a 2nd isn't enough by a long shot, IMO.

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Swisch's picture

January 26, 2023 at 03:46 pm

Keep Aaron Jones and Mason Crosby as true professionals who likely still have a lot to give on the field -- Crosby season by season, Jones for a perhaps a restructured two-to-three years.
Maybe keep either Bakh or Jenkins (letting one go, maybe both, for salary reasons plus injury concerns) then fill in with Tom and Jones for a premier offensive line with other guys already on the roster or to be drafted this spring.
***
I like Tonyan as perhaps progressing from his injury to top form next season.
Lazard intrigues me as a possible tight end, with apparently similar height and weight to George Kittle.
Maybe one of those two as a keeper for tight end, plus one early in the draft.
***
Fun times for fans playing amateur GM -- with a greater appreciation for what Gute has to decide.

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beautiful_mystery's picture

January 26, 2023 at 07:57 am

Thanks TGR; excellent article!. If you were my son...I would put my arm around you and say, "I am very proud of you son". I would ruffle your cap on your head and then I would go to the local watering hole for a cold can of Bullfrog and a mashed potato/sauerkraut pizza to celebrate.

Hell yeah, we got this!

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Johnblood27's picture

January 26, 2023 at 08:07 am

I am extremely grateful that I am NOT your son...

Thanks TGR for all that you provide here at CHTV!

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beautiful_mystery's picture

January 26, 2023 at 08:11 am

Come here JBlood, I got a hug that has your name on it...:D

*before I head to the libation station, I would go into the safe to check and confirm TGR is indeed my son. He is smart, I am....well,....I am strong like bull.

Go G Go!

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Johnblood27's picture

January 26, 2023 at 05:21 pm

Have a cookie, on me!

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BA4Packers's picture

January 26, 2023 at 09:02 am

Aaron Rodgers is worth his $50 mil contract but he knows what this does to the team. The Pack couldn’t afford D. Adams like the Chiefs couldn’t afford Hill. Neither are going to the SB and the Pack and Chiefs will continue to struggle keeping their talent. That’s the nature of the NFL. This makes it difficult to retain the senior talent he is requesting. He’s knows this. Roster turnover is needed.

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Coldworld's picture

January 26, 2023 at 09:34 am

Sadly that’s the only logical outcome. We shouldn’t expect to contend in Love’s first season. We didn’t in Rodgers’, and while I was thrilled watching him grow then, he was part of the reason for that. We also won’t have cap to add talent to any extent capable of carrying him.

In that situation I’d move on from Bakh. Indeed, I see that as a bell weather move indicative of a real grasp of the need to start a new generation. I waiver more on Jones, but the key here is mending the cap fast, while undergoing s year of developing young talent and units the core of which will be around in 2024. For that reason I’d trade Bakh and start Nijman or Tom and let Love play with a young and affordable line and those players develop. I’d move on from Cobb and Lazard in favor of youth and draftees. Again, building and developing rapport.

Clark and jaire are young enough to be part if the new era long enough that they make sense to retain. We can’t replace everybody, but we have seen that we can function without Bakh and we need picks and growth. Arguably we could function without Jones, but he’s in the cusp age wise (just turned 28). Picks now will really help in the years to come in more ways than one.

With Gary likely out and probably not himself after return next year, I don’t think we can part with Smith without a big negative issue. We have enough draft needs already. Where there is no replacement we need to accept that and add developmental potential behind them.

It’s a tragedy that we didn’t trade Rodgers and avoid this. We’ve just made the inevitable much more protracted and onerous and lost picks. This year it’s really more about stopping us floundering completely. Anything we get over the cap relief is a bonus. With his incomprehensibly stupid contract, less than we got in the Favre fire sale.

Sadly, all that heavily depends on us developing guys like Tom, Watson, Doubs, Enagbare etcetera. I have real doubts about this coaching staffs merits as evaluators and developers. Even with Rodgers traded, I fear there is yet more colonic irrigation required.

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Thegreatreynoldo's picture

January 26, 2023 at 10:59 am

I want to pin you down on Bakh because move on is too vague. Would you trade him for a 2nd round pick or the best offer (OBO)? If no offers, would you release him then?

Edit: Okay, further up I see you wrote you'd take less for Bakh, even a pick with a conditional 2024. good enough clarity.

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Coldworld's picture

January 26, 2023 at 12:21 pm

If there are no offers, then obviously we would need to wait till injuries after June 1 and decide then. I think we get more in those circumstances potentially, however, that doesn’t help us get there. Assuming a pre June 1 trade, I think there will be suitors, but I personally would offer no higher than a high 3rd or late 2nd this year and a future conditional pick based on performance and that 2024 pick might be considerably higher, potentially, a second or first as long as he plays consistently. He’s a first round caliber player without doubt, but he’s also 32 and we very publicly indicated repeatedly that there’s still a week-to-week question and will be (not hugely smart from LaFleur). The best I see this year is an early 2nd.

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Thegreatreynoldo's picture

January 26, 2023 at 06:14 pm

Ok. But Bakh has a $9.5M Roster bonus due on 3/19/23. Once paid, it can't be undone. GB can still get the pick(s) and $7.72M in cap relief with $11.56M dead in 2024. have to balance perhaps getting a better draft pick against the negative effect on the 2024 cap (+$7.72M in 2023 but - $11.565M is a net minus on the cap). It does make Bakh cheap for the acquiring team: $8M cash in 2023 and $21.5M in 2024. Should be more attractive.

I'd prefer to trade Bakh between 3/16 and 3/18 if the acquiring team would pay the roster bonus. Beggars can't be choosers, but GB could just release him to get $5.7M or so with no dead in 2024.

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BirdDogUni's picture

January 26, 2023 at 09:17 pm

The way Bakh played to end the season, I think there would be at least five or six teams willing to give up more than a single 2nd round pick. He's a top LT in the league. Teams need LTs.

I think a 2nd is too little, but what do I know?

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Coldworld's picture

January 27, 2023 at 09:37 am

It all comes down to informed (which we aren’t) assessment if his physical status. When he plays he’s a clear first round pick. But when a team suggests a guy will be week to week, not just now but in the future, that is something one can’t overlook if looking to contend. Therefore I think the likely outcome is one where the initial compensation is lower.

TGR, I agree that the March window is probably the best means to limit collateral damage from the cap backwash. Cutting Bakh would be an admission of a total failure of cap management and foresight and a disgraceful surrendering of value. So with Murphy/Ball I can’t rule it out. The only thing worse would be keeping him with a restructure that pushes more cap out 3 or 4 years like we did with Amos, whom I believe has 4 years of dead cap locked in as it stands. These fools threaten to rise to the level of negligence to sustain a highly implausible dream.

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PackyCheese500's picture

January 26, 2023 at 06:37 pm

If we can get good draft capital in a hypothetical Jets trade, I would let go of Smith. He is 31, and lots of 2024 cap space would be freed up by doing so.

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Rarescope's picture

January 26, 2023 at 10:30 am

"One additional thought is that fans should pay no attention to statements by the front office and coaches praising Rodgers and/or indicating that the team wants him back... ...There is no upside to disparaging Rodgers with public comments and plenty of downside."

Wait just a minute there - are you saying that we SHOULDN'T take everything said to and reported by the sports media as the gospel truth!?!?!?? You sir have just shattered my world view, and likely that of 99% of the rest of the people here.

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Ferrari-Driver's picture

January 26, 2023 at 10:55 am

TGR, that made me feel like I was a student again sitting though my first day of differential equations.

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fangirl's picture

January 26, 2023 at 12:01 pm

I am starting to feel that both Rodgers and GB are parting ways.
If there is a trade partner, I am revising my feeling about the Jets. I think he likes Robert Saleh, they just hired Hackett and the team has a good Defense and stacked offensive weapons.

Rodgers could run the Offense, unimpeded.

NY press will be unrelenting, though. But, he could make contacts for his post-football career.

Perhaps, the Patriots...

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Leatherhead's picture

January 26, 2023 at 12:08 pm

I'm inclined to keep Bakhtiari. I know that nothing happens on offense unless guys get blocked, I know that you need 9 good offensive linemen, because they get hurt. Bakhtiari is a plus player at his position. So considering that my goal would be to put the strongest possible offensive line on the field that I could, I'd try to keep him.

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Thegreatreynoldo's picture

January 26, 2023 at 03:56 pm

That was my first thought, and one I still like. Here are some thoughts, though.

1. GB needs to generate almost $50M from those 9 players listed in the article. Ken Ingalls generated $59.97M but that assumes all max restructures, and the team would need 8 guys to consent and Gary to re-sign. Maybe some of them won't. There is only $9.2M to spare. I have it at a bit more than Ken Ingalls.

2. Maybe Bakh doesn't like his buddy AR getting traded and remembers he doesn't have a super bowl ring. Perhaps he watches to see if KC can re-sign LT Orlando Brown, who Spotrac estimates will ask for $22.7M AAV. A healthy Bakh is better than Brown. Bakh is due $17.5M (inc. GA and WO bonuses) in 2023 and $21.5M in 2024. The chance at a ring might be tempting. If not KC, some other contender might need a LT.

Perhaps Bakh will say no to adding void years (he currently has no void years). If he refuses and GB can convert cash due to a signing bonus only using existing years on the contract, then the most GB can gain is $7.3M in cap relief. That would reduce the $9.2M "cushion" and leave GB with $4.47M to spend on their own or other free agents.

At that point, I have no idea what the FO might decide to do. I'd be tempted to trade him and get $5.7M in cap relief, leaving just $2.87M to spend on free agents.

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Leatherhead's picture

January 26, 2023 at 04:28 pm

"""" I'd be tempted to trade him and get $5.7M in cap relief, leaving just $2.87M to spend on free agents.""""

Resist Temptation. Everybody knows that the most important position on offense is the QB, but after that? You can make your case for #1 WR or RB, but that LT is a really important spot, especially in the passing game. I'm disinclined to make moves which weaken that spot.

We have other guys who can play LT. Jenkins has done it well, Nijman has done it well. Tom looked pretty good in a few appearances, but these are all guys who could start at other spots for us too, and none of whom would start ahead of a healthy Bakhtiari.

I've already decided that FAs are not on the menu this year, but we could really get healthy in the draft. We have something like 7 draft picks on Day 3, and that's before any trade compensation. With a little trading down, we could get 6 picks in the Top 115 and another 7 after that. Or more.

XXXXXXXXXXXXXXXX

Offense Dress Outs: Love, backup QB,
Watson, Doubs, Toure, Day2 pick, Day 3 pick.
Jones, Dillon, Day 2 pick.
Lewis, DeGuara, Day 2 pick
Bakhtiari, Jenkins, Nijman, Runyan, Myers, Tom, Day Two pick, Rhyan, Walker,

That's 21 on offense.
On defense:

Clark, Slaton, Wyatt, Ford/Slayton
PSmith. Campbell, Walker, Gary (when he returns from injury), Enagbare, Garvin, McDuffie.
Alexander-Douglas-Stokes-Shemar-Innes-Kiandre
Savage, Ford, Carpenter, First draft pick.

That's our preferred gameday squad at this point, IMO.

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Thegreatreynoldo's picture

January 26, 2023 at 06:18 pm

All fair points.

I just have to process and reflect.

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BirdDogUni's picture

January 26, 2023 at 09:39 pm

Just depends on what we can get for Bakh. Even a high '24 pick would be better than just releasing him, or making him play for a team that probably won't contend next year, without his compadre.

Should be several teams eyeing Bakh, Smith, and Aaron Jones. Just depends on what they offer, wouldn't you agree?

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Coldworld's picture

January 27, 2023 at 09:54 am

Mostly, but it’s not the entire story. If we move to a new QB, we not only need picks now with our cap, but we need to start building a team that will play around the new QB or his successor over the next 3 to 4 years. That means we need to minimize expensive holdovers who are shorter term, particularly if we have viable replacements to blood. It means picks now have added value and it helps free future cap to compete to add where hikes appear. It’s not merely the return in picks but where ut gets us in terms of positioning the team for 2024 and beyond.

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stockholder's picture

January 26, 2023 at 04:04 pm

No- Bahk will sit on the sidelines if Rogers goes.
If Rogers adjusts his contract he will play.
The chemistry is with Rodgers. Not Steinavich.

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BirdDogUni's picture

January 26, 2023 at 09:42 pm

WT% are you talking about?

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Titletown222's picture

January 26, 2023 at 01:10 pm

If Wentz goes for a 1st round pick.....so will Rodgers. More like a 1st and a 2nd or a player. GMs and coaches have a short window to perform........increasing the value of a veteran signal caller just 1 year removed from MVP. The receiving team can play with Aarons contract. 16 million cap hit in 2023 is not prohibitive.

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MooPack's picture

January 26, 2023 at 02:41 pm

The real question is will the Packers completely eff this up a second time in as many years with so clear a path and team to trade to.

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Coldworld's picture

January 26, 2023 at 03:20 pm

Murphy’s Law …

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MooPack's picture

January 26, 2023 at 03:22 pm

Lol! Damn law!

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stockholder's picture

January 26, 2023 at 03:52 pm

The Rodgers trade rumors are nothing but a distraction.
The more they think Rodgers is coming back.
The more they'll get down to business.

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Heyward's picture

January 26, 2023 at 06:17 pm

The Packers would get at least one 1st round pick for Rodgers - probably more.

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PackyCheese500's picture

January 26, 2023 at 06:39 pm

I was finagling with the Jets’ salary cap a little bit, pretending to be their GM, and I think it is very possible for them to get Rodgers, sign a top LT in free agency, and become a contending team in the off-season.

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Swisch's picture

January 26, 2023 at 07:20 pm

How about if we trade Bakh to the Jets as their LT along with Rodgers at QB?

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stockholder's picture

January 26, 2023 at 07:25 pm

I think they want Love.

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BirdDogUni's picture

January 26, 2023 at 09:44 pm

You are delusional, aren't you?

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PackyCheese500's picture

January 26, 2023 at 07:29 pm

Very interesting idea! Although my guess is that the Jets will want more of a run blocker to help Breece Hall at the Tackle spots, which isn't Bakhtiari's forte. I think the Chiefs could be an excellent suitor for Bakh, though - Both their starting Tackles are free agents, and Orlando Brown (their current LT) likely won't return.

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Swisch's picture

January 26, 2023 at 07:56 pm

Bakh may help Rodgers make the transition to the Jets as a matter of on-the-field security and off-the-field camaraderie.
Perhaps the Jets would sign Cobb, as well.
It would generate a lot of buzz in New York, sell tickets and merchandise, and maybe even lift the Jets to the playoffs in the next year or two.
They could either develop Zach Wilson during that time, or draft another quarterback, to take over when Rodgers does leave.
Otherwise, the Jets may continue to flounder in mediocrity even as the Giants are apparently moving up.
P.S. Is there a veteran on the Jets who would be good for the Packers, and by trading him would help the Jets salvage some cap space so as to better take on the salaries of both Rodgers and Bakh?
That way, the Jets can feel good about keeping their first-round pick to draft a speedy wide receiver for Rodgers.

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PackyCheese500's picture

January 26, 2023 at 09:54 pm

As the Jets' GM, I signed Orlando Brown in free agency. I can see how trading Bakhtiari to New York could also work, too, especially since the rest of their OL is good at run blocking.

If I were the Packers, I wouldn't be interested in any veterans - I see us rebuilding in 2023, so we would have to receive a player that would be of some future use to us. I don't know if the Jets would be willing to trade him, but S Jordan Whitehead is the only player I can think of who may be of some interest to the Packers. He is in the final year of his contract, and would count 7.25m against our cap if we traded for him.

Maybe we take Whitehead and a 2nd round pick, and some kind of conditional 2024 pick in a trade? Still, i would feel better about exclusively receiving draft compensation, as it is more cap-friendly, and I know the Packers like to draft-and-develop.

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Thegreatreynoldo's picture

January 27, 2023 at 10:55 am

If AR arrives in NY, Mr. Hall better content himself with 13 carries per game.

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Fubared's picture

January 26, 2023 at 08:16 pm

Rodgers has zero intentions of retiring so let's forget that idea. Second, he is reading everything about himself and loving it but, he just came out with a statement he is willing to redo his contract, thus he is coming back to the pack and doesn't want a trade. Story over.

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Thegreatreynoldo's picture

January 26, 2023 at 09:26 pm

Thanks, all. I will check back on this tomorrow, but I need 12 hours of beauty sleep (some which suggest much longer) right now.

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Swisch's picture

January 26, 2023 at 10:54 pm

Thanks, TGR, for your hard work in crunching the numbers.

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Since'61's picture

January 26, 2023 at 09:52 pm

TGR another great article. Great information and a useful assessment. I hope the Packers can work it out so that we can retain Jones. I'd like to keep Bakh as well. However it's a matter of Jones or Bakh I'll take Jones. If we trade Rodgers to the Jets maybe we can package Bak in the deal and increase our return from the Jets.

If we lose Rodgers, Jones and Lazard, Love and the offense will be starting virtually from scratch. Love is going to take his lumps in his first season no matter who is on the OL. Even with Bak the Packers OL is still weak at Center and RG and who knows if Tom will take a step in his second year. The Packers should draft 2 OLs reasonably early in the draft and continue to build up the OL.

After the Cowboys drafted Aikman in 1989 they built the best OL in the league in front of him and won 3 SBs in 4 seasons. The Packers should follow the same formula for Love. Trade everyone on TGRs list except for Jones and and maybe Clark and get as many picks as possible and build an OL for Jones and Love. Let FAs Crosby, Lewis, Amos and Cobb go. Lazard sounds like he is going to FA as well so let him go. Take the comp picks, the more the merrier.

Decide now to make a clean break from the past and build a new, younger team that can be ready to compete in the playoffs by 2025. Open as much cap space as possible and bring in reasonably priced FAs to get through '23 and '24. It's the best approach to get out of cap hell and turn the team around in a few years. The concept. of tweaking, spending and pushing cap out into the future is a failed approach especially if Rodgers either retires or is traded. Build for the future now and Murphy can leave a solid legacy behind when he retires in 2025. With or without Rodgers this team as it's currently constructed and coached is not reaching the SB in the next 2-3 seasons anyway. Move on. Do it right and do it now. Thanks, Since '61

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Thegreatreynoldo's picture

January 27, 2023 at 11:16 am

This is why I don't fear a rebuild as much as some fans. I can get considerable enjoyment out of the Packers whether they are good or bad.

1. Cap. I can look at the cap and discuss how it should be managed. Save here, spend there.

2. Roster Construction. Looking at needs, possible internal development, looking at the draft and UFA, plus the waiver wire.

3. Draftnik. I don't watch college ball at all, but eventually I get around to looking at some prospects. I have the CHTV draft guide and various big boards to fall back on, plus friends and folks here on CHTV who seem to know their stuffs on college prospects.

4. Draft itself. I do like that and find the trades interesting. Still owe dinner to BDU when I insisted GB should take Sternberger 75th rather than McLaurin who went 76th. Oops.

5. Training Camp. I attend a couple of practices and write the Practice articles.

6. Cut downs/roster management.

7. The games themselves. Winning is better than losing, don't misunderstand me.

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