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Packers free up about $2.5 million in cap space by restructuring Dean Lowry’s contract

Lowry bounced back with a better 2020 season following a less-than-impressive 2019 and will look to build on that progress this fall.

Green Bay Packers v Detroit Lions Photo by Nic Antaya/Getty Images

The Green Bay Packers are not done adjusting contracts and pushing salary cap dollars out into future years. On Tuesday, Field Yates of ESPN reported that the Packers have restructured yet another veteran contract, this one for defensive lineman Dean Lowry.

Lowry is on the second year of a three-year contract extension that he signed prior to the 2019 season. The deal was scheduled to pay him $4.1 million in base salary this season, but Yates reports that $3.11 million of that has been converted into a signing bonus to spread it over a few years.

The move reportedly frees up $2.488 million in salary cap money for 2021, shifting that money off into future years. The salary cap gymnastics at play here involve the Packers adding three voidable years on to the end of Lowry’s deal to spread the $3.11 million evenly over the next five seasons. This drops Lowry’s cap number from $6.3 million to about $3.8 million for 2021, adding on $622,000 to his cap number in 2022 to put him just over $7.9 million.

Should he play out his deal through 2022 as currently constructed, this move will leave the Packers with $1.866 million in dead money on the 2023 salary cap.

Lowry reportedly worked with the number one defensive line in Tuesday’s OTA practice, a clear sign that the Packers expect him to contribute heavily this fall. He has missed only one game in his career, that coming in his rookie season, and has started every game over the past two seasons. Lowry bounced back from a sackless 2019 campaign to record three sacks in 2020 while maintaining his snap count at around 60 percent of the team’s overall defensive plays.

The Packers still have yet to sign two of their 2021 draft picks, first-rounder Eric Stokes and third-round pick Amari Rodgers. Although the team is not yet in dire danger of exceeding the salary cap this offseason, when only the top 51 highest contracts count towards the cap, Lowry’s contract adjustment does free up some critical space to help the team get its full roster under the cap when the regular season begins.