A few weeks ago, we at Acme Packing Company theorized how the Green Bay Packers might free up salary cap space with a straight restructure of David Bakhtiari’s contract. Our thought went that the team could easily spread out about $6 million in space by simply paying Bakhtiari his $9.5 million roster bonus early and avoiding adding any void years to his deal. As it turns out, the Packers were more aggressive than that, as they have pushed off just shy of $10 million instead.
ESPN’s Field Yates again reported the deal, which moves not only Bakhtiari’s roster bonus but also another $2.08 million from his base salary into a signing bonus. Additionally, the Packers added a pair of void years on to the end of Bakhtiari’s deal, allowing them to spread that $11.58 million out over five years to further reduce his cap hit in 2022.
All told, Bakhtiari’s cap hit for 2022 will now be just shy of $13 million, a drop of $9.264 million from his previous number. That additional money will be spread evenly from 2023 through 2026, with 2025 and 2026 newly added as void years.
Bakhtiari’s cap hits in 2023 and 2024 now become even more enormous, with his deal charging $28.58 million in 2023 and $32.58 million in 2024. Those are numbers typically reserved for elite quarterbacks, and the Packers will likely use similar cap machinations in those years to reduce his cap hits. For example, Bakhtiari’s 2023 deal has another $9.5 million roster bonus due in March of next year, which would make him a candidate for restructure yet again next year.
That bill will come due at some point, whether in 2025 or earlier. But for now, this move frees up just shy of $10 million from the 2022 cap as the Packers try to alleviate as much of their cap overage as possible and try to make room for Aaron Rodgers and Davante Adams’ potential returns. Green Bay has trimmed approximately $24 million off their cap number with simple restructures for Bakhtiari, Aaron Jones, and Kenny Clark just this week, and more moves will surely be coming soon as they still have about $30 million yet to go.