One month before Packers training camp: 13 potential savings cuts
For the Green Bay Packers and most other NFL teams, training camp will begin on July 27.
While a series of roster changes have allowed the Packers to meet the salary cap, there is still a long way to go to weather the financial rigors of the season. That money could come in the form of a contract restructuring for quarterback Aaron Rodgers or an extension for Davante Adams. Otherwise, tough decisions will have to be made.
This year’s player cups will be played in stages. Cut to 85: August 17. Cut at 80: August 24. Cut at 53: August 31. Here are 13 players who could be released, including a handful that would allow significant savings on the salary cap. All monetary figures are from OverTheCap.com and are made without designations subsequent to June 1.
G Lucas Patrick (cap savings of $ 1.975 million): As one savvy personnel manager pointed out, if you release a solid player, you better have a replacement. The Packers have added six offensive linemen in the last two drafts. Jon Runyan, a sixth-round pick last year, has shown some potential in a few shots as a rookie. Additionally, the team drafted Royce Newman in the fourth round this year. Patrick is a quality player and a respected veteran but if Runyan, Newman or Simon Stepaniak (sixth round, 2020) are up to the game, there are significant savings to be made.
CB Josh Jackson ($ 1.33 million in savings over the cap): As a 2018 rookie second-round pick, Jackson started 10 games and missed 13 assists. His career has touched the skates, however, with just two passes defended in the past two seasons. Jackson wasn’t even active for the two playoff games last year. Perhaps the change in defensive coordinators will give Jackson a new lease on life in his professional life. Or, if first-round pick Eric Stokes is up to play some big snaps in Week 1, maybe Jackson will find himself on the trading block. If the Packers move on, they are expected to swallow more than $ 657,000 deadcap.
WR Devin Funchess ($ 1.22 million in savings over the cap): Funchess missed everything except the 2019 season opener with a broken collarbone and all of 2020 as COVID-19 denial. The Packers may not be loaded at the receiver, but they’ve got enough depth to knock out the $ 1.15 million base salary from a player with a history of dropped passes. However, as receiver coach Jason Vrable said, “I’m excited about his physical qualities, but also his intensity and strength that I think he will bring to the room.
DT Tyler Lancaster ($ 1.05 million in savings over the cap): The Packers re-signed Lancaster with a $ 200,000 signing bonus. That alone probably means Lancaster will be safe. But they used a fifth-round pick over defensive tackle TJ Slaton. If Slaton is ready for a major role immediately, do the Packers really need redundant skills?
S Will Redmond (cap savings of $ 920,000): San Francisco’s third-round pick as a 2016 cornerback, Redmond became a three-season regular veteran at Green Bay. In the past two seasons, he has played 26 games with five starts. He lacks too many tackles and doesn’t do enough ball games, but he’s versatile and plays with attitude. Maybe Vernon Scott, a seventh-round pick last year, will be ready for a bigger role.
Former draft picks
TE Jace Sternberger ($ 628,368 in savings over the cap): A third-round pick in 2019, Sternberger was meant to be the long-sought answer. Instead, a concussion and ankle injury doomed his rookie season, a concussion ruined last season and he will start the upcoming season with a two-game suspension. He has 13 career receptions and was inactive for the 2020 playoffs for the benefit of street free agent Dominique Dafney. With Robert Tonyan, Marcedes Lewis and Josiah Deguara atop the depth chart, Sternberger may have to beat Dafney. Maybe the $ 503,264 dead money will buy him another season.
LB Oren Burks (capped savings of $ 945,000): A third-round pick in 2018, the Packers flirted with Burks as the outside linebacker last year before bringing him back inside this year. Noted for his covering skills from Vanderbilt, he has 56 tackles but no assists defended in three seasons. The Packers added to the position with veteran De’Vondre Campbell and sixth-round rookie Isaiah McDuffie.
P JK Scott (cap savings of $ 920,000): A fifth-round pick in 2018, Scott set a career-high averaging 45.5 yards last season but was second to last in the NFL with his net average of 37.0 yards. In each of his three seasons, he struggled to come out of long periods of downturn. Ryan Winslow will fight him at camp.
RB Dexter Williams ($ 850,000 in savings over the cap): A sixth-round pick in 2019, Williams has run seven times for 19 yards and has not caught any passes in his career. He’ll need to beat seventh-round pick Kylin Hill for a berth in the roster.
WR Equanimeous St. Brown ($ 850,000 in cap savings): A sixth-round pick in 2018, St. Brown caught 21 passes for 328 yards as a rookie, missed 2019 with injury, and caught seven passes for 117 yards and a touchdown in 2020. It could be St Brown versus Funchess in a battle to join Davante Adams, Marquez Valdes-Scantling, Allen Lazard and rookie Amari Rodgers.
CB Ka’dar Hollman (capped savings of $ 806,262): A sixth-round pick in 2019 with a career start, Hollman joined Jackson on the bench for last year’s playoffs. Green Bay drafted Stokes and Shemar Jean-Charles as potential improvements.
LB Ty Summers (capped savings of $ 825,524): With Krys Barnes, Kamal Martin and Campbell at the forefront for the two starting jobs and the addition of McDuffie, the 2019 seventh-round pick could be against him from a numbers standpoint. Summers led the team with eight special teams tackles last season, however.
LS Hunter Bradley ($ 920,000): A seventh-round pick in 2018, Bradley has always been inconsistent. His horrific snap in the playoff win over the Rams nearly got kicker Mason Crosby killed, and Scott’s stunning outfit saved the team’s bacon on several occasions. Joe fortunato, a remarkable story of perseverance, will fight for the post.