Restructuring Dean Lowry shows his future in Green Bay

The Green Bay Packers helped solidify what their defensive line will likely look like for the 2021 season, as they restructured defensive end Dean Lowry’s contract. By tacking on three void years at the end of the deal and converting $3.11M of his $4.1M salary into a signing bonus, Green Bay was able to add $2.488 million in savings for this season, all the while kicking the financial can down the road.

Lowry has been a thorn in the side of the salary cap ever since signing his three-year, $20.325 million extension back in July 2019. 

Seen as a decent value at the time of his extension, Green Bay has regretted that extension ever since their roster was forced into a salary crunch, and even with the cap ceiling for the 2022 season set at $208.2 million (an increase of $25.7 million), his now-backloaded deal is going to be an issue next year.

Lowry’s role on this team is yet to be realized under new defensive coordinator Joe Barry, but odds are that he will be asked to fill a starting opportunity as one of the front’s ends. His 2020 season was up there with most of his career numbers, and he will likely be looked to for more of the same moving forward.

The reasoning for this cap maneuver should only be looked at for in-season move purposes and not for expensive veteran trade purposes – so rule out any Julio Jones theories. Operating in as tight of a budget as Green Bay is has made general manager Brian Gutekunst work hard this offseason, on top of handling the ever-changing situation involving Aaron Rodgers.

With potential extensions on the horizon for Davante Adams, Za’Darius Smith, and maybe even Rodgers, there are many possibilities that could help free up quite a bit of cap space for this season. Whether those extensions happen may very well hang on the decision surrounding Rodgers’ future, but the options are there, and even though the savings realized through the move involving Lowry are slim, it shows that this team still has a lot of work to do.

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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

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