Extra point: Packers, Julio Jones and Salary Cap
Last season, the Green Bay Packers led the NFL in scoring and Aaron Rodgers took home NFL MVP honors.
If the Packers traded for Atlanta wide receiver Julio Jones, would the offense be even better?
Would Jones’ acquisition prompt Rodgers to join the Packers for at least the coming season?
The answer to the first question is yes, assuming Rodgers was the man who threw the passes. The answer to the second question is that it would be a necessity.
According to the NFLPA, the Packers are only about $ 2.7 million below the 2021 salary cap. Jones’s cap charge for the upcoming season is $ 23.05 million. Obviously, the math doesn’t work.
However, the math doesn’t work for Hooded Falcons either. If Atlanta traded Jones, which seems likely according to The Athletic’s Jeff Schultz, an agreement is expected to be reached after June 1. That’s when the Falcons, using some of the league’s accounting tricks, could save $ 15.3 million.
According to Brad spielberger, who is a salary cap analyst for Pro Football Focus and a contributor to OverTheCap.com, Jones’s cap for Green Bay would be $ 15.3 million in 2021. That’s the amount of his base salary.
In theory, the Packers could do it. They still haven’t shaken their two big money trees: Rodgers (via restructuring) and Davante Adams (via extension).
“A Rodgers extension could make around $ 10 million, maybe a little more. Then they would also need to extend Adams, ”Spielberger said.
Adams has a cap charge of nearly $ 16.8 million for 2021, his final season under contract. A potential extension would reduce it to about $ 11.2 million.
Doing the math, new offers for Rodgers and Adams would create $ 15.6 million in ceiling space. That would be just enough to get Jones on board, although more ceiling space would be needed once the regular season starts fielding a practice squad and handling in-season roster moves.
And that’s not even about the huge elephant in the room: 2022. Green Bay is $ 33.7 million of a projected salary cap of $ 203 million in 2022, according to OverTheCap.com. Any money created with a Rodgers restructuring in 2021 is expected to be paid back in 2022 and beyond. The good news is that Jones’ cap fees for 2022 and 2023 would only be his base salaries of around $ 11.5 million. So Green Bay could move after a one-year rental, although this would be an expensive rental in terms of a capital project.
“They technically have could“acquire Jones,” Spielberger said, “but I think that’s almost impossible given the 2022 cap situation.”