With the Green Bay Packers faced with a tight amount of salary cap space for the 2020 NFL season, they made a move to add $3 million back in space by restructuring offensive lineman Lane Taylor’s 2020 deal.
Under the newly-redone deal, Taylor will make $1.5 million and include a $100,000 signing bonus, according to Tom Pelissero of NFL Network. Being able to save $3 million on this deal will push the cap space to be around $14 million for the year.
For Green Bay, roughly $2 million of their current space will be devoted to locking up all of their recent draftees, according to Tex Western of Acme Packing Co., which would leave them with around $12 million left that could and should be used for locking up players on long-term deals.
Taylor’s 2019 season was only two games long after he suffered a biceps injury against the Minnesota Vikings in the second game of the season, and his impact on the offensive line has not totally been missed, especially with the emergence of left guard Elgton Jenkins, who projects to be one of the best steals in the draft and a perennial All-Pro interior offensive lineman.
By freeing up space, this gives Taylor a little bit more of a safety net to hold down one of the main swing spots on the offensive line for ‘20, especially since his lower cap hit would be an easier pill for GB to swallow as a backup. With the team having just drafted three offensive linemen in the sixth round (Simon Stepaniak, Jon Runyan Jr., and Jake Hanson), it will be interesting to see how many OL the team ends up keeping, as David Bakhtiari, Jenkins, Corey Linsley, Billy Turner, Ricky Wagner, and Taylor project to be the top six players on the line.
With the money that was saved, defensive tackle Kenny Clark, running back Aaron Jones, and cornerback Kevin King look to be towards the top of the list for extensions, with Clark taking the cake as the most important member of that list.
Currently only 24 years old, Clark’s progression from being one of the youngest players in the NFL to one of the best DTs in the league, Clark is playing out the end of his rookie deal, and he is in line for a huge payday that should somewhat rival the likes of Aaron Donald and Fletcher Cox in terms of highest-paid DTs. Clark has mentioned that he wants to stay in GB, and they would be very dumb to let one of the best young defensive line talents to leave the state.
Paying a running back is a very risky business venture (see Todd Gurley and Melvin Gordon) and at times players can decide to hold out to get what they want, but for Jones, he recently said that there have been discussions regarding an extension for him, and he would love to play out the remainder of his career in green and gold, which would help pair him with AJ Dillon for many years to come.
For King, his resurgence last season was finally a look into why GB used a high second-round pick on his talents. Seeming to have moved past the majority of his injury issues that plagued his early years in the league, King looks like one of the better press-man corners in the league, and his 6+ foot frame helps set him up well against tall receivers in the league. Playing opposite Jaire Alexander, the Packers have a solid core of starting corners to build around and should hope that King stays in Green Bay for a while.뿓뿓뿓
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