Salary cap impact of Packers releasing LB De’Vondre Campbell

The Green Bay Packers will release linebacker De’Vondre Campbell, according to Tom Silverstein of Packers News, a move that will create $10.57 million in cap space for the 2024 season.

In order to net that much in salary cap savings, the Packers will designate Campbell as a post-June 1st cut, meaning the $10.57 million in savings won’t be recognized on the salary cap until June 2nd.

So, from a spending standpoint, with free agency on the horizon, this move does not benefit the Packers at the moment–they still have to carry Campbell’s original $14.23 million cap hit through June 1st, but will avoid paying him a roster bonus of $2.9 million in March 15th.

On June 2nd, the Packers will clear $10.57 million in 2024 cap space, with Campbell leaving behind a dead cap hit this season of $3.67 million. Over the Cap currently has the Packers with $13.62 million in available cap space, which ranks 22nd league-wide.

For Campbell, he does immediately become a free agent and can sign with whomever he pleases. He does not have to wait until June 2nd to join a team.

When a player is released without a post-June 1st designation, there may be a dead cap hit left behind in the current year, but that player is then off the salary cap books the following offseason.

However, with a post-June 1st designation, there is dead cap that is absorbed both in the current year and in the following season, meaning Campell will count towards the Packers’ salary cap in 2025 at $7.97 million in dead cap, even though he will be playing elsewhere.

The Packers decision to move on from Campbell was an expected one. Campbell came with a cap hit of $14.23 million this season and had battled injuries each of the last two seasons.

In 2023 specifically, Campbell appeared in only 13 games, including the playoffs, and when on the field, he didn’t look like his old self.

Campbell’s missed tackle rate was at nearly 10 percent after being at 2.8 percent during his All-Pro season. Campbell also allowed a career-high 12.1 yards per catch and had only two pass breakups without an interception.

The impact plays just weren’t there, with no sacks, no forced fumbles, and only three tackles for loss. In the Packers’ two playoff games, it was Isaiah McDuffie lined up next to Quay Walker on early downs–not Campbell.

The Packers are transitioning to a 4-3 defense under new defensive coordinator Jeff Hafley and will have to prioritize adding to the linebacker position this offseason.

Walker could be an ideal weak-side linebacker in a 4-3 scheme, with his ability to blitz and operate in space. However, at this stage of the offseason, Hafley isn’t ready to commit to Walker being in any one spot. Instead, the goal is to put him wherever he can consistently make plays.

“Quay’s a talented player,” said Hafley at his introductory press conference. “As we build this thing, we’re going to make sure he’s in position to make a lot of plays. So whatever we feel, as we piece this together, where that is, that’s where we’ll put him.”

Also returning at linebacker is McDuffie, who played his final season at Boston College under Hafley, and at least as the roster is constructed right now, could be an option at middle linebacker.

The only other linebacker on the roster is Christian Young, who was signed to a futures deal in January. So depth at this position group is very much needed, as is finding a starting strong-side linebacker, who will largely be tasked with helping out in the run game.

“We’re going to have to add,” said Gutekunst of the linebacker position. “There’s not a lot of personnel changes we’re going to have to make with the scheme change, but we’ll probably have to carry a couple more linebackers into training camp and maybe one or two more through the 53- and 69-man roster as we go through.”

Story originally appeared on Packers Wire