During a time when there is not much Green Bay Packers news to write about I thought it would be interesting to break down the team’s salary cap. Here’s what the Packers will be spending by position this season in comparison to the rest of the NFL.
Quarterback: $20.38 million (5th)
Running Back: $3.2 million (31st)
Wide Receiver: $12.79 million (21st)
Tight End: $3.37 million (27th)
Offensive Line: $21.82 million (20th)
Defensive Line: $15.24 million (26th)
Linebackers: $31.86 million (2nd)
Cornerbacks: $11.72 million (20th)
Safeties: $11.46 million (10th)
My thoughts are that this mostly lines up with what NFL positions are valued around the league and that’s no coincidence. Obviously, quarterback is the most valued offensive position and running back the least valued, which is reflected very well on the Packers. It will be very interesting to see what Ted Thompson is willing to pay Eddie Lacy in two years. He’s one of the elite running backs in the NFL and Thompson has never had to pay one of them before. Ryan Grant got paid by Thompson, but he was not on Lacy’s level, and it took a training camp holdout to get it done.
Defensive linemen in a 3-4 system don’t get paid much other than the elite guys, and that has been the case with the Packers. Also, inside linebackers don’t get paid unless they’re true three-down players. Thompson has not valued the position highly in the draft, although he did pay two of them, which was were both mistakes. Right now, he is paying his inside linebackers peanuts. The linebacker number is so high due to outside linebackers Clay Matthews, Julius Peppers, Mike Neal and Nick Perry (if you consider Matthews an ILB now he got paid as an OLB). Pass rushers get paid throughout the NFL, even mediocre ones. So, again Thompson is prioritizing the important positions.
In the secondary, the number at corner is skewed by the fact that Tramon Williams and Davon House have been replaced by rookies Damarious Randle and Quinten Rollins. By selecting two corners in the first two rounds Thompson has placed a clear importance on the position, as he should and as most of the NFL does.
The only position that isn’t prioritized in the NFL that Thompson has put a lot of resources towards is guard. That’s probably because the Packers happen to have two the of the best in the NFL in Josh Sitton and T.J. Lang. Sitton’s cap number is $7 million and Lang’s is $5.8 million this season.
This also illustrates the amazing work Thompson does with the cap. With two guards having a $12 million cap hit combined and signing an elite right tackle to a new deal the Packers are still only 20th in the NFL in offensive line spending. The same goes for wide receiver with Jordy Nelson and Randall Cobb getting recent new deals as top wide receivers, and the Packers are only 21st in the NFL in wide receiver spending. It seems highly unlikely that the Packers will ever be in salary cap trouble under Thompson.——————