According to ESPN’s Field Yates, the Green Bay Packers have converted $1.5 million of defensive lineman Dean Lowry’s 2022 salary into a signing bonus, which means he will see that money in his bank account faster and will free north of $1.1 million in cap space on the Packers’ accounting. According to Spotrac, Green Bay was already top-10 in the league in available cap space at $6 million and the Lowry salary conversion should move them up a couple more spots.
Lowry, notably, had the highest base salary ($5 million) on the team in 2022. The Packers have pushed cap hits forward on virtually every player with a significant contract on the team to keep as many 2021 contributors on their 2022 squad. Lowry, who is a free agent in 2023, was the most notable contract that Green Bay has not adjusted in any way, shape or form up to this point in the season.
The Packers are already going to be well over the cap in 2023 before this Lowry move, which makes their future roster construction even harder after the salary conversion. The question is: Why are they kicking that $1.5 million onto next year’s cap accounting instead of just paying it now when they have the cap space to afford it?
Ken Ingalls, a CPA who breaks down Green Bay’s cap situation in depth on Twitter, brought up the idea that the Packers might need that cap space in 2022 if they are planning on handing out a major extension before the end of the season, as they’ll need to account for a prorated signing bonus on the 2022 cap in that scenario. Green Bay’s starters who are set to be 2023 unrestricted free agents (i.e., are due for a new deal) include left guard Elgton Jenkins, tight end Robert Tonyan and receiver Allen Lazard. Outside linebacker Rashan Gary, who is currently on the injured reserve with a torn ACL, is also set to play on a $10.9 million fifth-year option in 2023 that the team will likely attempt to address between now and February.
Keep your eyes open for some sort of extension in the coming days, as this decision on Lowry’s salary implies that there’s another shoe to drop.