The Green Bay Packers salary cap situation for 2021 has flown a little under the radar but they were projected to be around $21 million over the cap for next season with plenty of free agents they may want to keep. They began the process of getting their cap in order today by releasing right tackle Ricky Wagner and linebacker Christian Kirksey.
Wagner was signed last season to a two year contract following his release from the Lions. Wagner was serviceable last year, appearing in 16 games and starting 9 of them for the Packers. Our valuation metric had him in the upper $8 million range which would put him around the mid way point of all right tackles.
This was likely a salary cap dump as he was going to carry a $6 million cap charge which is a lot for someone who will likely be a reserve lineman next year on a cap starved team. The team will carry $1.75 million in dead money, freeing up $4.25 million in cap room. I would expect Wagner to pick up with another team.
Kirksey was a bold move to say the least. The team signed him to a two year, $13 million contract last season despite the fact that Kirskey had played in just 9 games over the last two years. While he did suit up for 11 games as a Packer he only played in 53% of the teams defensive snaps and was not very effective. We had his value to the team under $2 million.
Kirksey’s contract was backloaded for cap purposes and his salary cap number was set to be $7.6 million. By releasing him they created $5.6 million in cap room. He will count for $2 million on the Packers cap as dead money.
The Packers should now be around $11 million over the $180 million salary cap floor.
Jason is the founder of OTC and has been studying NFL contracts and the salary cap for over 15 years. Jason has co-authored two books about the NFL, Crunching Numbers and the Drafting Stage, which are widely circulated in the industry and hosts the OTC Podcast. Jason’s work has been featured in various publications including the Sporting News, Sports Illustrated, NFL Network and more. OTC is widely considered the leading authority on contract matters in the NFL.