With the Green Bay Packers officially out of the playoffs, the team finally has the opportunity to sign players to futures contracts. Futures contracts are essentially minimum salaries that teams can offer to players to fill out their 90-man roster in the offseason.
The Packers announced today that they came to an agreement with 10 futures contract players: QB Kurt Benkert, QB Danny Etling, WR Chris Blair, OL Cole Van Lanen, OL Michal Menet, OLB La’Darius Hamilton, ILB Ray Wilborn, CB Kabion Ento, SAF Innis Gaines and K J.J. Molson. All ten of these players had been in Green Bay over the past year, for varying periods, but only Benkert, Van Lanen, Hamilton and Gaines played for the team in the regular season.
Benkert and Van Lanen played reserve snaps in kneel-out situations while Gaines was a special teams player for one week against the Cleveland Browns due to injuries and illness in the secondary. Hamilton was picked up off of the Buccaneers’ practice squad in Week 2 and saw playing time in six games for the Packers while bouncing up and down the activation list throughout the season.
Some of the biggest names on the Packers’ practice squad did not immediately sign practice squad contracts, though. WR/returner David Moore, DL Abdullah Anderson and DL R.J. McIntosh, who along with Molson made up the team’s four protected practice squad players this past week, are still free agents. They join RB Kerrith Whyte, WR Josh Malone, TE Bronson Kaufusi, OL Ben Braden and LB/special teamer Peter Kalambayi as players yet to sign a futures deal with Green Bay after finishing the season on the team’s practice squad.
The Packers also worked out RB LaVante Bellamy, WR Rico Gafford and CB Kiondre Thomas, according to ESPN’s Rob Demovsky. One would assume that the team would be looking at them as futures contract players.
Futures contracts could play a big part in building out the 2022 roster in Green Bay, as the team is about $40 million over the cap as it stands today, without WR Davante Adams, WR Marquez Valdes-Scantling, WR Equanimeous St. Brown, TE Robert Tonyan, OL Lucas Patrick, OL Dennis Kelly, DL Tyler Lancaster, LB De’Vondre Campbell, LB Oren Burks, CB Rasul Douglas, CB Chandon Sullivan, CB Kevin King or P Corey Bojorquez under contract. Odds are that the Packers are going to rank among the highest in the league in players on futures deals and/or undrafted free agents who end up sticking on the 53-man roster next year.