UPDATE: Thanks to the release of the actual contract details, we know what the Packers' cap space actually looks like following these signings - and there's even more cap space than we thought! Check out that post here.
The Green Bay Packers brought two key cogs on their defensive line back yesterday, as Letroy Guion and B.J. Raji each agreed to one-year contracts to keep them in Wisconsin for the 2015 season. However, both deals were reported to have contract values higher than what many (including us at Acme Packing Company) expected.
Guion's deal is reported to be worth $2.75 million, while Raji's was said to be about $3.5 million with incentives that could increase it to $4 million. That's about double what Raji was offered earlier this offseason (one year, $2 million) and noticeably more than Guion earned last season ($1 million).
In any case, that's another $6.25 million in salary being added on to the Packers' salary cap for 2015. For the offseason, at least, that adds a little less than $5.4 million onto the salary of the top 51 highest-paid players, since it bumps two low-value contracts off the bottom end of that list.
Based on the new projections, the Packers have just under $16 million in cap space. Using numbers from Over The Cap and inputting the new deals, we project the exact number to be $15,950,042, a drop from just over $21.3 million prior to adding in the linemen's deals. That is a drop from the $21,330,042 that was the previous projection.
Raji's $3.5 million number would make him the 13th-highest cap hit on the roster, falling just below tackle Bryan Bulaga ($3.57M) and kicker Mason Crosby ($3.55M). Guion's would sneak him in at 14th, between Raji and Nick Perry ($2.39M).
As for the rookie class, don't worry about them eating up too much cap space either. The Packers' 2015 draft class is expected to have a pool value of somewhere around $6.2 million in total first-year cap hits, though the exact numbers have not been computed yet after compensatory picks were awarded. However, because of the Top 51 rule in effect during the offseason, the maximum cap space that the rookies would eat up is only about $2.35 million due to low- or minimum-salary players dropping out of the Top 51.
In other words, the Packers should have another $13.5 million or so to work with in order to bring back any other free agents they wish to sign (for example, John Kuhn or Jamari Lattimore) or to extend players currently under contract such as Mike Daniels or Casey Hayward.
NOTE: This projection does not include the Restricted Free Agent tenders offered to Don Barclay and Sean Richardson, as the players have not yet signed those tenders. When signed, each of those will reduce the top-51 salary cap number by approximately $1.1 million.