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Cheese Curds, 5/17: Jaire Alexander’s deal further frees up Packers’ finances for 2022

The bill will come due for the Packers in future years, but this big contract was a no-brainer both because of the quality of the player and the team’s need for just a bit more financial flexibility this season.

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Carolina Panthers v Green Bay Packers Photo by Dylan Buell/Getty Images

The Green Bay Packers made a huge move on Monday, locking up star cornerback Jaire Alexander to the biggest deal in history (by average annual value) for a player at his position. Alexander’s star has been burning brightly for some time now, and he’s every bit deserving of the deal that he just received.

For the Packers, the move frees up a valuable $6.2 million in salary cap space for this season, giving the team some additional buffer room to make a move if they deem it necessary. Could a move like that have a similar impact to the addition of De’Vondre Campbell last season? That’s highly unlikely, but there are still players on the open market who have the potential to make a decent impact on this roster this season.

Ultimately, the Packers will have some large cap hits coming for several players in future years. Two major factors are in play here: the expectation that the salary cap will continue to rise precipitously and the team truly “going for it” in whatever time Aaron Rodgers has left as an elite quarterback. Expect the Packers to keep kicking the can down the line from 2023 into 2024, 2025, and beyond as long as Rodgers is in green and gold and is playing at a high level.

Green Bay Packers, Jaire Alexander finalizing four-year, $84M extension | ESPN
Alexander's $21 million per year is a new record for defensive backs, as is his $30 million signing bonus.

What Jaire Alexander’s record-breaking extension means for him and the Packers - The Athletic ($)
This deal frees up about $6 million in cap space, giving the Packers plenty of room to maneuver during the season, to sign draft picks, and even to add a veteran free agent or two at the right price.

Packers and Odell Beckham Jr. look like the perfect pairing | Packers Wire
One of those possible veteran additions could be Beckham, though he likely will not be ready to play until later on in the 2022 season after tearing his ACL in the Super Bowl.

Packers: Who could be this year’s ‘De’Vondre Campbell’ signing? | Packer Report
The Packers could also look to the other side of the ball for a veteran player. It's not reasonable to expect an addition in mid-May to be an All-Pro like Campbell was last year, but someone like Jaquiski Tartt could at least give the Packers some improved depth at safety.

Packers’ Day 3 receiver draft picks gearing up to compete | Packers.com
Finally, let's look at the young receivers recently added in the NFL Draft, where we find that Romeo Doubs and Samori Toure trained together for a month before both heard the Packers call their names on day three.

NFL roundup: Latest league news from Monday, May 16 | NFL.com
Former Wisconsin Badger and Packers draft pick Vince Biegel has landed with a new NFL team, signing a one-year deal with Baltimore on Monday.

Boris Johnson says cheese and coffee can distract when working from home | The Guardian
Last I checked, many offices offer coffee. And if it takes you so long to 'hack off a small piece of cheese' that you forget what you were doing, then it’s reasonable to wonder about the state of the country that you're supposed to be running.