It is no secret that the Green Bay Packers are over the salary cap right now and that they need to take some more steps to shed salary before the start of the new league year in mid-March.
The Packers have already restructured the contract of All Pro left tackle David Bakhtiari and released linebacker Christian Kirksey and offensive tackle Rick Wagner. Still, Green Bay needs to clear at least $10 million in salary for 2021 and even more if they want to sign a key free agent like J.J. Watt or Richard Sherman.
One great way the Packers could clear up some cap space is to sign Pro Bowl wide receiver Davante Adams to a contract extension. As of now, Adams is expected to have a cap hit of approximately $16.7 million for 2021 which is the last year of his current contract. He is scheduled to be an unrestricted free agent next year at this time if the Packers don’t ink him to a new deal.
But the Packers can lower Adams’ cap hit by signing the former Fresno State star to a contract extension and spreading the cap hit of the signing bonus out over the life contract.
Instead of a $16.7 million cap hit, the number can be reduced to $10 million or less depending on how the contract is structured and how much of the overall compensation is listed as a signing bonus.
A large signing bonus will make Adams happy because he will see his money up front. Even if he gets injured or his play falls off, the signing bonus money is his as soon as he signs the deal. That is the closest to guaranteed money that most NFL contracts get.
Critics may point to the fact that Adams will turn 30 late in the 2022 season and that he will give the team diminishing returns over the course of his new deal. But the fact is that speed has never been the biggest reason for Adams’ success. Adams relies more on his ability to run precise routes and to disguise them off the snap of the ball so that he gains an advantage on the defender within a few steps after the play started. He also has great hands and an uncanny chemistry with his quarterback.