Packers restructure Za’Darius Smith’s contract to free cap space

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Zach Kruse
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The Green Bay Packers re-worked Za’Darius Smith’s contract to help the team get under the salary cap by the start of the new league year.

According to Ian Rapoport of NFL Network, Smith and the Packers restructured his deal to create cap space on Wednesday.

Details weren’t immediately available, but Rapoport’s report suggests the Packers did not complete an extension and only moved cap dollars from 2021 to 2022.

Smith’s deal has two years left. His cap hit was scheduled to be $22,000,000 in 2021 and $20,750,000 in 2022.

Smith has a base salary of $10,750,000 and a roster bonus due Friday of $5,000,000. The Packers could convert some or all of the two amounts into a signing bonus to create cap space in 2021, but all the money would transfer to his cap hit in 2022.

It’s possible the Packers restructured the deal – and pushed money into next year – knowing that an extension is eventually coming, which will lower his eventual cap hit in 2022. Tom Silverstein of the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel reported on Sunday that the Packers were planning on completing an extension with Smith, who has said he wants to be a lifelong Packer.

The Packers needed to create more cap space to fit the new contract of Aaron Jones under the cap. The team must be under the league’s salary cap by the start of the new league year later Wednesday.

The Packers previously restructured the deals of David Bakhtiari, Adrian Amos, Preston Smith and Billy Turner.

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