After the big-time spending that general manager Brian Gutekunst and his front office underwent in NFL free agency this offseason, the Green Bay Packers have now solidified their edge rusher position by bringing in two Smith bookends, Za’Darius and Preston, as well as one of their safety positions, poaching Adrian Amos from the Chicago Bears.
While bringing in these players is all fine and dandy on paper, the money is what really grabs people’s attention, with a combined $184.1 million thrown to five players (guard Billy Turner and tight end Lance Kendricks were the other two not mentioned above) this offseason. This astronomical amount puts Green Bay second in free agent spending by team, around $25 million behind the leading New York Jets, who brought in Le’Veon Bell as their big catch.
Trying to rid themselves of the Ted Thompson approach is one thing, but to spend as much as they have right away is another. While edge rusher, safety and offensive line depth were all question marks coming into the offseason, they did not necessarily need to be addressed by throwing boku bucks to them, although it does help finetune the team’s needs for the draft.
This spending also has future ramifications too, as the team will have big-name players like Mike Daniels, Mason Crosby and Bryan Bulaga as unrestricted free agents. The lower amount of money that the team is now able to spend hurts them too, as the now have less room between their current cap status and the tax to bring back their players if they so choose.
Kenny Clark has a club option that the team will most certainly pick up, but they will need to consider how much they want to give the run stuffer from UCLA to hold down their defensive line for many years to come. Other free agents after the 2019 season include Geronimo Allison (again), Jason Spriggs, Dean Lowry, Kyler Fackrell and Blake Martinez, just to name a few.
Looking at the 2020 cap sheet, the team will only have a bit over $26 million (at this time) to spend for free agents and resigning their players, a number that pales to what it needs to be. While they can easily restructure contracts by pushing signing bonuses into 2021 and converting roster guarantees into signing bonuses, this team will be up against a bit of a wall for next offseason, not something that
With Gutekunst at the helm and financial guru Russ Ball manning the calculator and the cap sheet, this team is primed for success while still staying in their budgetary needs. While there may need to be a few surprising money moves made, the cap is going to be one of the biggest factors in how well this team performs after this upcoming season.
The new additions must provide big-time performances to justify the money that they were thrown, otherwise this team may have taken two steps back by trying to take three steps forward way too soon this past offseason.
Mike Johrendt has been an avid fan of the Packers ever since he can remember. He is now a writer at PackersTalk and you can follow him on Twitter at @MJohrendt23