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Looking ahead to Packers' 2016 free agents

3/29/2015

GREEN BAY, Wis. -- Ted Thompson still has work to do in the current free-agent class -- which could include re-signing the likes of B.J. Raji, Letroy Guion and John Kuhn -- but the Green Bay Packers general manager also must keep an eye on the 2016 group.

What Thompson and vice president of player finance Russ Ball do this offseason is based, in part, on what they know they will have to address next offseason.

Next year might not be as expensive as this year, when the Packers handed out $21 million in combined signing bonuses to receiver Randall Cobb ($13 million bonus) and tackle Bryan Bulaga ($8 million).

As things stand right now, there's only one star-caliber player entering the final year of his contract, and that's defensive end Mike Daniels. With $21,885,142 in salary-cap space still available for this season, according to the latest NFL Players Association figures, the Packers could easily work out an extension with Daniels before he hits free agency next March.

Here's the list of the Packers' veteran players entering the final season of their current contracts:

Offense

Defense

Specialists

*Will be a restricted free agent

Note: It's also possible that outside linebacker Nick Perry will be in the final year of his contract. Like all first-round picks drafted in 2011 or after, Perry signed a four-year contract that includes a non-negotiable team option for a fifth year. The Packers have until May 3 to inform Perry, the 28th overall pick in 2012, whether they intend to pick up that option. Last year, the Packers declined the option on 2011 first-round pick Derek Sherrod.