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Cheese Curds, 8/26: Kenny Clark’s contract structure is all about the cap

Aaron Rodgers’ contract? That probably doesn’t play into this much at all.

Detroit Lions v Green Bay Packers Photo by Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images

In 2020, the NFL’s salary cap is steady at $198.2 million, the number it was set at before the coronavirus pandemic hut. But in 2021, that number could and likely will dip lower due to losses in revenues this season, potentially as low as $175 million.

However, in 2022, the cap is likely to rebound significantly. Although the league’s current television deals expire after 2022, the league is sure to start the work on new deals in the coming months, potentially going into effect for 2021. Indeed, the NFL was beginning to press forward with negotiations in late March as COVID-19 hit in earnest. Although the pandemic shifted the league’s focus to other more urgent matters, with the 2020 season looking to begin on schedule, expect those negotiations to get back underway sooner rather than later.

If new contracts go into effect for 2021, that would mean a significant rebound for the cap in 2022 and beyond. And not coincidentally, that’s just when the Packers planned for Kenny Clark’s contract to shoot up in cap value.

Yes, it’s true that 2022 is also when Aaron Rodgers’ cap hit swells as well, leading some to speculate that the Clark deal was structured as it was because the team expects to move on from Rodgers before that season. But what is more likely is that Rodgers’ deal was structured this way for the same reason as Clark’s — the expectation of a growing cap for that season.

In today’s curds, we’ll examine the Clark deal and some additional newsworthy items about the Packers’ rookie class.

Green Bay Packers structure Kenny Clark's contract for expected dip |
The way the contract is structured gives Clark a very small base salary and total compensation in 2021, with both numbers (plus his cap hit) ballooning in 2022 and beyond.

5 things to know about Kenny Clark’s new contract with Packers | Packers Wire
Another theory floated here is that Clark's hit increases at the same time that Aaron Rodgers' takes a big jump, but the cap fluctuations are probably much more of the reason why Clark's deal is structured the way it is.

More to Packers rookie running back AJ Dillon than just his (massive) legs - ESPN
Dillon's trainer joked that "We did work on the arms a bit, as well."

Packers rookie class adapted to challenging offseason |
Did the Packers prioritize intelligence and work ethic even more in the 2020 rookie class than in years before? Matt LaFleur has praised his rookies for those qualities and the scouting department for finding players who have seemingly adapted well to this atypical offseason.

Spencer, IA man injures himself during pursuit |
After stealing a pickup truck and chucking drugs out of it during a police chase, this man got locked in the stolen car then jumped out the window of the moving vehicle and got his legs run over before somehow continuing to flee on foot. That's a lot of determination.