For the Green Bay Packers, this offseason promises to be a challenging one. The organization has to decide whether or not to keep a multitude of free agents – both big names and small.
Starting out the offseason with with close to $30 million of cap space needing to be freed up, it seems the Packers kicked it off by restructuring one of the biggest contract extensions of the past six months.
All-Pro left tackle David Bakhtiari signed a massive contract in the fall that made him the highest paid offensive lineman in National Football League history. However, that promised to make the upcoming offseason even more of a challenge.
But Bakhtiari let Packer fans and the organization breathe a sigh of relief – at least for now.
Last week it was announced by Ian Rappaport that Bakhtiari and the organization would work to turn Bakhtiari’s $11,447,000 2021 roster bonus into a signing bonus. The move is a step in the right direction that freed up $8.3 million of cap space.
The money will instead be spread out throughout the entirety of his contract instead of one big chunk of change. This move helps massively now, but will hurt a little more down the line.
Bakhtiari himself confirmed this move by quote tweeting Rappaport’s original tweet with a gif of former WWE wrestler Damien Sandow yelling at the crowd “YOU’RE WELCOME!”
It seems he knows we’re all worried.
Now, I’m not the guy to know all the money moves and what exactly they mean for cap space and money in the future. However, I do know that Bakhtiari’s move is a step in the right direction and the ultimate team player move.
If this 2020-21 team is as close as they say they were in the locker room and on the field, the organization might need a couple more players to restructure contracts similar to Bakhtiari.
Guys like Z’Darius Smith, Billy Turner and Aaron Rodgers can all restructure their respective contracts to save the team money in the short term.
The Packers will most likely need to cut some other players along the way to get down to the right cap space number. I won’t weigh in and give my two cents on that – although we all have our ideas about who needs to go and who needs to stay.
For now, David Bakhtiari’s contract restructuring is the perfect start to the offseason. Who knows? Maybe his move will inspire others on the team to do the same.——————
Gunnar Davis is a lifelong Packers fan and a recent graduate of Simpson College, where he was a 3-year letterwinner on the offensive line and graduated with a degree in multimedia communications. You can follow him on Twitter at @Gunnar57Davis.