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Cheese Curds, 3/11: Packers have work to do with a few days until free agency begins

Next Wednesday may be the start of free agency and the 2022 league year, but the Packers would be wise to get their big deals done by Monday.

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NFL: DEC 25 Browns at Packers Photo by Larry Radloff/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images

Although next Wednesday is the official start of the NFL’s 2022 league year and therefore the first time that free agents can begin signing contracts with teams, Monday will mark a major milestone on the free agency calendar as well. Noon Eastern Time on Monday is when teams and agents for unrestricted free agents-to-be can begin to negotiate on contracts, opening the so-called “legal tampering” period.

As a result, many big name players will already have deals agreed upon on Monday afternoon and Tuesday, and the Green Bay Packers need to be ready. Several of their own key players from 2021 are set to hit that free agent market next week, and in order to know what their financial flexibility will allow them to do in free agency, the Packers need to be hard at work getting their financial situation in order.

Job number one on the list is signing Aaron Rodgers to a contract extension now that he has committed to return to Green Bay for 2022. That will likely free up significant cap space, as the Packers will need to free up around $45 million just to get under the cap by Wednesday, and likely need another $5 million or so to tender all of their exclusive-rights and restricted free agents.

After or concurrently with a Rodgers deal, Green Bay will surely start to release a handful of players as salary cap casualties and restructure a few more veteran contracts. We gave a go this week at what those moves might look like, and finding that we could get to the $45 million mark with a few choice releases and a number of other restructures.

So with just a few days left, expect the Packers to start making moves this weekend, probably starting today. Now in today’s curds, we’ll take a little bit of a look ahead to what free agency might have in store for Green Bay once they make it to that phase of the offseason.

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