The harsh reality of void years: Even if soon-to-be free agents Darnell Savage and Keisean Nixon sign elsewhere this offseason, the Green Bay Packers will still count roughly $7 million on the 2024 salary cap for the two players due to accelerated bonus money on voided contracts.
There is an out for the team, however. The Packers can extend the contracts of Savage or Nixon or both and actually save money on the salary cap in 2024. Per Over the Cap, the combined possible savings from extending Savage and Nixon before their contracts void is roughly $5 million, making early extensions a realistic possibility if the Packers want to keep both players for 2024.
Savage dealt with a few injuries but otherwise enjoyed a bounce back season in 2023. With Rudy Ford and Jonathan Owens both headed to free agency, the Packers will likely need to pick at least one veteran safety to return — and Savage, a 2019 first-round pick, is an option.
The Packers tacked on four void years to Savage’s fifth-year option to lower his cap hit in 2023. The bill will come due in the form of a dead cap hit if his deal voids in February, but an extension would stop the acceleration and create upwards of $4 million in savings in 2024.
Nixon started every game in the slot and was an All-Pro kickoff returner for the second straight year. It’s unclear how the Packers view him as a long-term option in the slot — and the next defensive coordinator might want an upgrade — but Nixon is a dynamic returner who could be an excellent dime corner.
Nixon returned to Green Bay on a one-year deal in 2023 that included four void years. His deal voids Feb. 19, per OTC. When it does, nearly $1.5 million will accelerate onto the Packers’ 2024 salary cap. Like Savage, an extension before the void stops the acceleration.
The other extension candidate is offensive tackle Yosh Nijman, who returned on a restricted tender that included void years in 2023. Considering he was nothing more than a swing tackle this past season, Nijman and the Packers may decide to part ways. Green Bay has roughly $1.9 million in potential savings in an extension for Nijman. This turns into a dead cap hit if Nijman’s deal voids.
It’s worth noting that the Packers have never gotten a pre-void extension done despite adding void years to numerous contracts over the past few seasons. The team did bring back linebacker De’Vondre Campbell and tight end Robert Tonyan after their deals voided but missed out on the potential savings of extending the deal before the void.