Salary cap implications of Packers releasing Christian Kirksey, Rick Wagner

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Zach Kruse
·2 min read
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Over the projected salary cap and in need of shedding salaries from the books before the start of the new league year, the Green Bay Packers released linebacker Christian Kirksey and offensive tackle Rick Wagner on Friday.

The moves immediately clear almost $9.9 million of cap commitments while leaving $3.75 million in dead money on the 2021 cap. When factoring in the top 51 cap, which begins at the start of the new league year, the moves net total cap savings for the Packers of $8,539,375.*

According to Over the Cap, the Packers are now $11,451,306 over the projected $180 million salary cap in 2021.

Both Kirksey and Wagner signed two-year deals with the Packers last March. With the Packers needing to clear significant cap space by the start of the new league year, both veterans were prime cap casualty candidates.

Kirksey had a cap hit of $7,609,375 in 2021. Cutting him cleared $5,609,375 and created $2 million in dead cap.

Wagner had a cap hit of $6 million in 2021. Cutting him cleared $4.25 million and created $1.75 million in dead cap.

General manager Brian Gutekunst has now restructured David Bakhtiari’s contract and cut Kirksey and Wagner. All three were moves we listed in our 10 reasonable ways the Packers could create cap space before the start of the new league year.

*Note: The top 51 rule means only the top 51 cap hits will be counted on a team’s salary cap during the offseason. So while the Packers are cutting Kirksey and Wagner, which cleared $9,859,375, their two cap hits will be replaced in the top 51 by two minimum deals of $660,000. So the overall effect on the cap declines by $1,320,000, to $8,539,375.

List

10 most reasonable ways the Packers can clear salary cap space this offseason