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The Green Bay Packers have made a decision on Preston Smith’s future.
According to Tom Silverstein of the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, the Packers altered Smith’s contract to lower his salary cap number in 2021. At this point, it’s unclear how the Packers altered his deal, or by how much the move lowered his cap number
Either way, the alteration will help the Packers’ cap situation and should keep Smith in Green Bay for a third season.
Smith’s cap number was scheduled to be $16 million in 2021. A significant reduction, via a paycut or restructure, could help the Packers get under the salary cap by next Wednesday’s start of the new league year. The team entered Friday at roughly $9.7 million over the $182.5 million cap.
The Packers also restructured Adrian Amos’ deal, freeing up more space.
Smith, a free-agent signing in 2019, produced only four sacks and 29 total pressures during a disappointing 2020 season. The Packers are banking on him bouncing back and being disruptive again in 2021.
Releasing Smith could have saved $8 million on the cap, but it also would have created $8 million in dead money. Smith was also reportedly floated in trade talks.
Keeping him in Green Bay will give the Packers defense three experienced edge rushers for new defensive coordinator Joe Barry, with Smith joining returning outside linebackers Za’Darius Smith and Rashan Gary.