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Martellus Bennett Contract Details: New Packers TE has just $3.85M cap hit in 2017

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Once again, the Packers kept the first year of a newly-signed player’s cap hit low to maintain financial flexibility this offseason.

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A little less than three days have passed since the Green Bay Packers signed free agent tight end Martellus Bennett to a three-year contract, and we now know the details of that deal. As reported by the NFLPA via Packersnews.com, the deal has a $6.3 million signing bonus and totals exactly $21 million over the course of the three years.

However, although the deal is backloaded a bit in terms of its salary cap impact, the cash value for Bennett is fairly consistent. In addition, the Packers have a reasonable out prior to the third year of the deal if Bennett ends up failing to live up to the contract.

Here are the details of the deal (all numbers in millions), which we will break down further below.

Bennett Contract

Year Signing Bonus Prorated SB Base Salary Roster Bonus(es) Workout Bonus Cash Cap Hit
Year Signing Bonus Prorated SB Base Salary Roster Bonus(es) Workout Bonus Cash Cap Hit
2017 $6.30 $2.10 $0.90 $0.60 $0.25 $8.05 $3.85
2018 $2.10 $3.60 $2.60 $0.25 $6.45 $8.55
2019 $2.10 $5.65 $0.60 $0.25 $6.50 $8.60

Note that the salary cap hit for 2017 is less than $4 million. This allows the Packers to spread some of that $6.3 million signing bonus over the final two years of the deal. Also note that the roster bonuses in 2018 include a $2 million bonus to be paid shortly after the league year begins.

The Packers protected themselves with the structure of this deal, however. If necessary, the team can release Bennett at any time during the 2019 offseason and only take a dead money hit of $2.1 million, which would save $6.5 million in space. That could also be a prime time for a contract restructure as well. However, if Bennett performs well, the team is unlikely to adjust his deal, as recent history demonstrates (specifically in the case of Julius Peppers).

As far as the salary cap goes, our estimates of the Packers’ cap (using Overthecap.com’s salary cap calculator) sit at just over $29 million with the contracts for Bennett, Nick Perry, and Don Barclay ($1.025M) all accounted for. This does not include numbers for Lance Kendricks yet, as his contract details have not been announced.