Packers' cap update: $15 million unused


GREEN BAY, Wis. -- The Green Bay Packers still have three more NFL draft picks to sign, but even before those contracts are completed, we now have a clear idea of how much salary-cap space the team will have to use on extensions for veteran players this season.

As of the start of the week, the Packers were $15,045,712 under their adjusted salary cap. Only seven teams in the NFL had more cap space available than the Packers. Only the top 51 contracts count in the salary-cap calculations during the offseason.

That $15 million-plus figure, however, does not include deals for first-round pick Ha Ha Clinton-Dix, second-round pick Davante Adams and third-round picks Khyri Thornton and Richard Rodgers. Thornton is the only one of that group who is under contract, but his deal was not completed until Monday and therefore has not been entered into the contract database yet.

But based on what those four players are expected to receive under the NFL's rookie slotting system, that foursome will combine to account for about $3.336 million in salary-cap space in 2014.

That would leave the Packers with about $11.7 million in unused cap space.

Is that enough to sign receivers Randall Cobb and Jordy Nelson to contract extensions? It should be, depending on how creative vice president of player finance Russ Ball gets in the structure of those deals.

On Monday, we looked at how Bears receiver Brandon Marshall’s contract extension might impact the market for Cobb and Nelson. Neither Cobb nor Nelson will likely net the $10 million-per-year average that Marshall received but even if the Packers paid out that kind of signing-bonus money, the proration for salary-cap purposes likely will still fit under their available cap space.