That's the point I have been trying to make though. The Packers converting Rodgers' base salary into a signing bonus doesn't negatively affect the team's cap at all.
That would only happen if the cap savings this season are soend on a veteran, who would hopefully impact the team's chances of winning a Super Bowl though.
Here's what I think the Packers should do to maximize the chances of winning another Super Bowl with Rodgers over the next two years.
As you mentioned correctly convert his base salary into a signing bonus resulting in the cap hit dropping to $28.1 million for the upcoming season.
Next offseason, once again convert his base salary of $25 million into a signing bonus, adding three void years in the process to reduce his cap hit to $25.3 million (down from $39.8 million) in 2022.
The team would take a dead money cap hit of $26.5 million by trading him in 2023, still saving $1.8 million of cap space compared to the cap hit he's currently scheduled to account for that season.
The total cap hit allocated to Rodgers is the most important number to look at, dead money is just part of it.
While that might be true in 2023 it definitely matters how much Rodgers counts against the cap in 2021 and '22 in the meantime.
But it does affect the cap number. It makes it go up in the next two seasons. It doesn't affect the overall number for the three years left but it does affect each individual year which is the important part. It makes it go down this year but it goes up in the next two meaning they have to account for an extra 4.5 million each year. I really think we are just looking at it in two different ways and we are having a hard time getting each other to see how we are looking at it.
Your philosophy on how to best maximize the time AR has left is to push as much of his money out into the future as possible and it certainly is one strategy but its debatable on whether it is the best for the franchise. I'm not sure I agree with the do everything we can to win in the next two years and let the next few years after that be damned. However, your scenario includes adding years to his contract which I don't think can be done with a simple restructure. then we are talking about 2 different animals. Restructure vs renegotiate.
I agree about the total cap hit being more important than the dead money but I would say each individual year cap hit would be more important than the total. As you have said a restructure wouldn't affect the total cap hit but, like I have been saying it would affect each year.
Maybe that's where we are not seeing eye to eye. You keep saying it doesn't affect the Packers cap and in a way you are right, it doesn't. The Packers have so much money to spend. That is their cap and giving more or less to Rodgers doesn't change that. They still only have so much money to spend. What does change and my whole point, is the amount of money Rodgers accounts for towards the cap in each of the years and that affects how much money they have to spend on other players and what they might have to do to fit the extra money under the cap. I'm not concerned with the cap as much as I am concerned with how Rodgers compensation affects it.
That's not true because in the situation we are talking about the Packers FO would like to maintain the flexibility to move on from Rodgers after the 2022 season with very little dead cap. Thus his total cap number doesn't matter because you won't be paying that you'll only be paying the dead cap number...
If they move on from him then the dead money is the total cap money at least as far as that year is concerned. Of course any money converted from salary to SB this year will have no affect on his salary in the next two years anyway so the amount they won't be paying stays the same whether they do it or not. The only thing that changes is how much they will be paying, or counting towards the cap as the case may be,. That's why the Packers wanted to give Jones such a high salary in years 3 and 4. His total cap hit for the contract is around 47 million but realistically, when they cut him after 2022 it will only be around 17 and his cap hit for 2023 will be 3.25 in dead money To put it simply, IMO the most important cap numbers are the team cap number which determines how much a team can spend this year AND how much each individual counts towards that salary cap each year. That is what determines if the team is over or under the cap and if they have to cut players (or salary) or if they can sign other players. Obviously the more 1 player counts the less you can spend on others.
I agree that the unwillingness to convert Rodgers roster bonus to a signing bonus was an attempt to reduce the cap hit (dead money) in whatever year they decide to move on from him which IMO doesn't seem to be until after the 2022 season. They could have gained 4.some million this year by doing that but they would have increased the cap hit in 2023 and I don't think they want to do that even though the extra money would help this year.