What other moves could Packers make to get under salary cap?

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Zach Kruse
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The Green Bay Packers released veteran linebacker Christian Kirksey and offensive tackle Rick Wagner on Friday, clearing almost $9 million off the team’s salary cap.

By turning Kirksey and Wagner into cap casualties and converting David Bakhtiari’s roster bonus into a signing bonus, the Packers have freed up around $17 million, inching closer to getting under the salary cap for 2021, which won’t fall lower than $180 million.

General manager Brian Gutekunst still needs to clear around $12 million more to get safely under the cap before the start of the new league year next month.

Here are some other moves the Packers could make to get under the cap:

– Release Preston Smith: He’ll count $16 million against the cap in 2021, a big number for a player who regressed significantly last season. Releasing him would immediately clear $8 million.

Restructure Aaron Rodgers: Converting some, most or all of Rodgers’ base salary ($14.7 million) and roster bonus ($6.8 million) into a signing bonus could free up most of the cap the Packers need to get under.

– Extend Davante Adams: His cap number is almost $17 million in the final year of his deal. The Packers want him around long-term, and an extension could free up immediate cap space in 2021.

– Release Dean Lowry: He’s been underwhelming as a down lineman since signing a big extension. The Packers could save $3.3 million by cutting him.

– Extend Za’Darius Smith: He has a $5 million roster bonus that could be converted into a signing bonus, or the Packers could look into extending his deal past 2022 to smooth cap hits over more years.

– Release Devin Funchess: He hasn’t played in a game since September of 2019. Releasing him would save around $1.27 million.

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