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2020 Salary Cap Situation

Discussion in 'Green Bay Packers Fan Forum' started by HardRightEdge, Jan 24, 2020.

  1. HardRightEdge

    HardRightEdge Cheesehead

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    It's time again to make the donuts I suppose.

    The NFL has advised teams that the 2020 cap will be in the range of $196.8 - $201.2 mil.

    Last season in came in at the lower end of the estimated range, $188.2 mil against the estimated range of $187.0 - $191.1 mil. TV ratings were better this year. Let's use the mid-range of the estimate, $199.0 mil cap for 2020.

    Various sources have the Packer cap carryover in the $5 - $6 mil range. Taking the midpoint of $5.5 mil, that gives the Packers working available cap of $204.5 mil.

    The Packers currently have 43 players under contract for 2020 with a cap cost of about $174.5 mil after some minor dead cap. Lets assume Graham will be cut which takes us to 42 players with a cap cost of 166.5 mil.

    That gets us to available cap space of $38 mil.

    If we assume Clark will be signed to a 4 year backloaded deal, we can reckon that's a wash relative to his $7.7 mil 5th. year option. On the subject of backloading, it's hard to see Gutekunst going as extreme as last year with those 4 primary free agents. As contracts stand now, the difference between 2019 and 2021 cap costs for Rodgers, Adams, the Smiths, Amos and Turner is an increase of $41 mil. With Clark on a backloaded deal, that increase would go to over $50 mil. It's hard to think the new CBA in 2021 will make up that 2 year difference. 2021 also has a more difficult free agency class than 2020's: Bakhtiari, Jones, King and Linsley. Replicating last year's free agency haul is not likely short of a "2021 be damned" approach.

    Anyway, lets work with that $38 mil as baseline. The draft class will come in somewhere around $7.5 mil for the 10 picks assuming the conditional pick for Reggie Gilbert comes through. Then subtract another $500,000 for an undrafted rookie filling out the 53 man roster. Knock off another $3 - $4 mil for practice squad and the injury replacement reserve.

    So, what you have to work with is a draft class plus $26.5 mil in free cap space.

    To "stay even", you have to re-sign or replace in kind the following starters: Bulaga, Graham, Martinez and Tramon Williams, with no clear up-and-comer replacements on the roster, along with Crosby and Ervin on special teams. I did not include Allison in that list as expendable or Lazard as an inexpensive exclusive rights free agent. Then there are rotational players like Lewis and Fackrel who have some value, though I think to make this all work you have to count on Gary to make the step up next season.

    There's some discussion of releasing Linsley and Taylor in addition to Graham to pick up an additional $13 mil in cap which would bump available cap to $39.5
    mil
    . That would take the current roster of OLs down to Bakhtiari, Jenkins, Turner and Patrick the presumtive center, with the remainder being Light, Madison, Nijman and Leglue. Given that collection of bench players, just guys barring some surprise I would not expect, you'd be looking at finding a starting RT and two bench players who can play if need be. Given other needs, I don't think you can get rid of both Linsley and Taylor without acquiring a backup of some value.

    Patrick showed enough that I would not have a problem picking up the $8.5 mil in releasing Linsley to get the free space up to the $35 mil range. If not retaining Taylor then acquiring a similarly priced vet who can swing G/T or at least play both OT positions would be needed. I find Veldheer something of a mystery. Given the demand and prices for OTs and given how well he played in relief, it's somewhat hard to explain the weak demand for his services on the waiver wire. At 33 years old, but with most of a year's worth of R&R, and experience at both OT positions and even some OG, a Taylor-out-Veldheer-in move on a one year deal would be a net add if he has no market as a starter.

    All in all, given the number of key players with heavy cap backloads going into 2021 along with the free agents coming up after 2020, I don't think you're going to see four name free agents this go round. Maybe 2, with something more than this season's $5 or $6 mil carryover going into 2021.

    The toughest job will probably be an getting the ILB position where it needs to be.

    I think we'll need to get 3 starters out of this draft to go with a couple of decent free agents and Gary having some impact in year 2. In the end, you have to stack drafts to get where you want to go regardless. It gets harder after 2020.
     
    Last edited: Jan 24, 2020
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  2. melvin dangerr

    melvin dangerr Cheesehead

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    One receiver I would like for us to land in the draft and have cap for is Justin Jefferson from LSU 102 catches 1,434rec yds, would be a great compliment for Devante
     
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  3. elcid

    elcid Cheesehead

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    Outstanding analysis yet again HRE. It is a given that they should target WR heavy in this draft, giving the bare FA class, and I'd probably focus on the Shenault kid from Colorado. From what I've heard he is fast, strong, explosive and would be an immediate threat in both the pass and return game.

    I am especially interested in seeing what they do with our Oline. There are numerous options like you and other posters in other threads mentioned. Imo you have to resign Bulaga to warrant moving on from Taylor or Linsley even, but I would still be hesitant with handing Bulaga a big contract. Something he is surely gonna get, if not from us than from some other team.

    Ideally, I'd like to come away this draft with at least one starting pass catcher (preferably WR) and cover linebacker, and added rotational players at both the lines and TE respectively. I wouldn't mind double dipping at these positions, especially if we let Blake walk and do not sign a replacement in FA. FA should definitely be used to sign one starter and (a) mid tier player(s) who can bolster any of the beforementioned positions (ILB, DL, OL, TE).

    Resign Bulaga, Crosby, Lewis, Tonyan, Lazard, Sullivan, Lancaster, Kumerow, Redmond
     
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  4. XPack

    XPack Cheesehead

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    Aaah....Linsley!
     
  5. HardRightEdge

    HardRightEdge Cheesehead

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    My sense is they will not cut him. I regard it as a possibility, not a likelihood.
     
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  6. KyraReppe5

    KyraReppe5 "We're going to relentlessly chase perfection."

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    I think it makes sense to keep Linsley as least for next year. Have to cut graham and Taylor (though Taylor could draw some interest in a trade). Veteran OG’s are tough to come by in this league and almost impossible to find a starting caliber RG for only 4 million. I want the packers to target Jordan Phillips and Austin Hooper in FA and take Patrick Queen in the first round then spend a few picks on WR with an OT in the 3rd or 4th. This draft is WR heavy. While I would LOVE a guy like Shenault or Jefferson, we will not find an upgrade to Blake outside of the first round. We can find multiple WR3’s in the 2nd-6th rounds of this draft that are an upgrade to any of the WR3s that played this year.
     
  7. HardRightEdge

    HardRightEdge Cheesehead

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    Well, there are a lot of candidates from low 1st. round and into the 3rd. I expect the Packers will pick one of them. A quick look at the Jefferson highlights says to me, "not a lot of separation". I'd prefer to see how he tests at the Combine, in particular 3-cone and short shuttle.

    Big numbers in college, even in the SEC, don't necessarily translate to the pros. There was another WR on that team with bigger numbers and higher mocks. Is Jefferson the benficiary of having the best QB in college football while running routes against 19 year old #2 perimeter corners? I dunno.
     
    Last edited: Feb 7, 2020
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  8. elcid

    elcid Cheesehead

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    This is the sad but very true part. For years, we have been pooring draft picks (and at some point even millions of dollars) into our defense, neglecting our offense in the process. And still, we do not have a lot to show for it as our D is still not close to formidable. As our friend Brandon has been mentioning for years, we are going to need to focus on our offense coming offseason, and in order to do that we very much need to sign a starting ILB in FA.

    Even if we don't sign one, I'd still be reluctant to go anything but offense in the first round, but you are right, it is pretty much a given that our ILB play wouldn't be better for it. Furthermore I don't think that the Packers will feel this reluctancy.
     
  9. ExpatPacker

    ExpatPacker Cheesehead

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    Cory Littleton is the ILB I would like the Packers to go after. He won't come cheap. He's fast, very good sideline-to-sideline player, is good in coverage but not so highly rated against the run, the very thing the Packers need the most. He would probably be better than Martinez for run defense, but that's not saying much. His overall level of talent might make him worth it, especially if the Packers draft a top DL prospect.

    If it's through the draft, Kenneth Murray looks like the cream of the crop but the Packers would almost certainly have to use their #1 pick on him.
     
  10. tynimiller

    tynimiller Cheesehead

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    Honestly, with last year's FA boom signings...some pivotal contracts coming up (Clark first to get I think), fiscal freedom not nearly as large as last year has me thinking Gute is gonna get aggressive in this year's draft. I would place a bet we will have two day 1 picks or 3 picks in first two days happen.
     
  11. melvin dangerr

    melvin dangerr Cheesehead

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    Management has and inside view of the Packers needs, seems like each year we wait to see what they are going to do about it...
     
  12. Sunshinepacker

    Sunshinepacker Cheesehead

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    https://www.pff.com/news/draft-dont-fall-in-love-with-justin-jeffersons-2019-production

    Nice breakdown there of why Jefferson might not be as good an NFL receiver as his 2019 numbers would indicate. Basically, the team moved him to the slot for 2019 because he's not very good against man coverage and that's where all his production came from (as of 1/13/2020 he had run only 3 routes from outside). He could still be very good in the slot but that's not really what you're looking for in a first-round WR. Now, PFF isn't right about everything but they do give some interesting context to his performance this year at LSU.
     
  13. tynimiller

    tynimiller Cheesehead

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    I'll be the "devil's advocate" here to that. Jefferson is comfortable and has shown to be able to deliver from the slot, which I'd argue the Packers could benefit from for sure. Have the middle controlled it will open up things for the outside as well. I do understand the dissent in thinking a slot guy isn't worth a first, but I'd argue if you're going a surefire slot stud it is worth it 100%.

    I don't care where a true #2 wideout lines up in 2020, I just want one. I'm a fan of Jefferson personally, and I do sense he is going to be one of about 4 or 5 wideouts we will need to heavily consider at #30
     
  14. gbgary

    gbgary Cheesehead

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  15. tynimiller

    tynimiller Cheesehead

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    However that is increasing at minimum up to around $35million...but I envision Gute will have it over 40 before it is all said and done.
     
  16. HardRightEdge

    HardRightEdge Cheesehead

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  17. OldSchool101

    OldSchool101 Peerless Beer, Lacrosse WI

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    I was just wondering this weekend where we were at after that current restructuring to loosen some “now” capital. This was a Great, concise breakdown.

    So the obvious is ILB, TE, OT and WR. I would personally add to that another DT, but mines a tertiary wish list at this point.

    If my math is correct, we can go after 2 quality starters that would be projected upgrades. I’m Squirming a little because we don’t have the luxury of keeping both Bulaga and Linsley. The savings combined is like 18.5 mil after dead $.
    I’m looking to the draft or FA to replace at least 1 of the 2 positions. If Bulaga would take a deal in the 8-10M range I think I’d prefer him. That Linsley contract looks awful heavy right now. Especially when you see how successful we’ve been in round 4 (Tretter, Linsley) Trade deal?


    Of that remaining Cap. How much of that 26.5 do you think we can apply without overspending and jeopardizing next season? 20M?
     
    Last edited: Jan 27, 2020
  18. HardRightEdge

    HardRightEdge Cheesehead

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    First off, I seem to be alone in including slot corner on the needs list. The SF game notwithstanding, this is a nickel defense league and that's not changing. For example, upgrading from Lancaster is a common theme, an opinion I share, but not among my higher prioritites.

    To illustrate, Lancaster had a 36% snap count in 2019. Tramon Williams, a free agent, had a 74% snap count. I see no reason to prioritize DL over slot corner. Even if that guy is a better pass rusher than Lancaster capable of a 50% snap count giving Clark a few more rest snaps, there's still a meaningful usage gap. Maybe this discrepancy in need evaluation is a function of having a bunch of young corners and safeties on the roster or brought back inexpensively. "Somebody" will emerge, with a shrug? That's not a given.

    That out of the way, as noted in post #1, my working number is $38 mil in available cap space assuming Graham's release. That's a kind of averaging out of some unreliable numbers and some Kentucky windage. For example, overthecap.com would put the number at $35.7 mil and spotrac.com a $37.4 mil estimate assuming Graham's release while spotrac has a $3.8 mil lower cap cost for the 43 guys currently under contract.

    You might have noticed I'm critical of predictions where a high number of variables and unknowns are not amenable to predictions. This is one of those situations. Frankly, Gutekunst couldn't answer many questions on the table at this juncture where outsiders are willing to make bold predictions.

    Here's the thing. The evident priority is coming to terms with Clark and the outcome of the on-going Bulaga negotiations. Everthing pivots off those two contracts, not just the average yearly amount. How much but for how long and how far the cap hit can be pushed out past 2021 is a factor. Bulaga is problematic on that score because he's not the kind of guy you want to sign to a 4 year deal. We'll have more clarity once those two dominos fall, or not. That could take awhile.

    Other unknows not given a any attention is whether Gutekunst has in the back of his mind extending one or more of the 2021 free agents before 2020 is up, notably Bakhtiari or Jones.

    Another unknown is how much gets dribbed and drabbed away bringing back lower cost vets: Crosby, Lewis, T. Williams. Chip away a little with a couple of the restricted FAs, say Boyle and Greene.

    At this point I have only a sense of what might be done until we see where they go with Clark and Bulaga. Gutekunst probably isn't far off that mark at this point. My sense is that it will be something like two larger ticket signings (including Bulaga) or one large and two smaller.
     
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  19. gbgary

    gbgary Cheesehead

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    yes but we're making assumptions. as talent/cap-hits leave us, by whatever means, they'll have to be replaced. that starting number is important. as our number changes with cuts so does it change with other teams and their cuts. so bottom third of the league is a pretty fixed position.
     
  20. tynimiller

    tynimiller Cheesehead

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    Small sample size (just one year) but do you foresee Sullivan as a viable option? I'm in the same boat as you however, that while Sullivan could be what he was this year OR he could be like GMo and show promise and then fall.
     
  21. gbgary

    gbgary Cheesehead

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    also...don't forget about escalating salaries. positions aren't getting cheaper or even staying static. just look at qb for instance. the number exploded with rodgers' deal. anyone who's signed a top deal at any position raised the "market value" for that position.
     
  22. HardRightEdge

    HardRightEdge Cheesehead

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    Besides the small sample size, you have to be careful assessing a guy who is the 6th. DB on the field, or 7th. if you count the hybrid ILB (which I do not), in primarily zone D. If he's one of 5 DBs playing man against this league's slots you could see something very different you might not like.

    Rather than making a GMo comparison, consider a DB from the relatively distant past--Jarrett Bush. He spent several years as a respectable dime corner, that 6th. DB on the field before the hybrid ILB was a thing, and a special teams stalwart and then captain. At a certain point, several years into his career though I cannot remember which year, he was competing for a staring perimeter corner position, got raves in camp practice and preseason. He was the opening day starter. I think that lasted two games before he was pulled.

    Could Sullivan step in and play to Willams' level? I don't know. But is it more likely than Jackson or Holman have a light go on? Probably. Is it more likely than, for example, Keke making a second year jump? Maybe, maybe not, and that goes to priorities.
     
  23. tynimiller

    tynimiller Cheesehead

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    I do like your Jarrett Bush comparison, but I (totally personal) see much higher ceiling possible in him than Bush, but you're not incorrect in Jackson and Holman I believe are the ones that staff is hoping is the role and Sullivan could groom into that dependable #5 or Dime spot DB.

    It is refreshing to see someone else draw the similar comparison of both the DB room and the DL room in a very similar place in desperate need of that next level emergence to occur...and can the staff gamble and be right on whom is more likely? I sense Tramon is the "x-factor" knowing we're close the SB, his twilight of his career and he showed he can still play could be the bandage for one more year we don't necessarily have along the down front.
     
  24. HardRightEdge

    HardRightEdge Cheesehead

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    I'm sure they would like it to be Jackson given the investment, but whether it can be is something else.

    I wouldn't say I find the DL or CB positions as "desperate" needs. I can't remember the last time I felt deperate about anything. ;)
     
  25. tynimiller

    tynimiller Cheesehead

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    WR #2? :)
     

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