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Packers officially have $14 million in salary cap space, with $4.7M needed for draft class

With official numbers out, here’s exactly where the Packers sit against the cap.

NFL: Green Bay Packers-Training Camp Mark Hoffman-USA TODAY Sports

All of the runaround about the Green Bay Packers’ cap space in the past week can come to an end right now. Thanks to the reporting of ESPN’s Field Yates, we have official cap numbers for every team in the NFL, and the Packers are pretty close to what we expected.

In fact, the Packers’ real cap number is a tiny bit better than what is currently projected by Over the Cap, and Spotrac, both of which have the team at just under $14 million. Yates’ numbers have the team just over $14 million, at $14,004,669:

Does this mean that the Packers can go out and splurge on a few more players? Probably not. As always, teams need to reserve a little bit of cap space for their draft picks, and the Packers have ten selections in the 2019 NFL Draft, including two first-round picks.

However, despite the total value of the Packers’ draft pool coming in at $10.3 million — a solid number, based on the NFL’s rookie wage scale — the team only needs to reserve about $4.7 million in space to sign those players. This is because during the offseason, only the largest 51 contracts (in terms of current-year cap hit) count towards the cap. As a result, signing a draft pick drops another player down out of that Top 51 group, while some draft picks’ contracts would not even make the Top 51.

Here’s the full breakdown of the effective cap space required to sign the ten picks currently under the Packers’ control:

2019 Packers Draft Cap

Round Pick 2019 Cap Replaces Net Cap Effect
Round Pick 2019 Cap Replaces Net Cap Effect
1 12 $ 2,886,764 $ 571,166 $ 2,315,598
1 30 $ 1,913,755 $ 571,000 $ 1,342,755
2 44 $ 1,233,197 $ 570,000 $ 663,197
3 75 $ 746,629 $ 570,000 $ 176,629
4 114 $ 679,983 $ 570,000 $ 109,983
4 118 $ 675,840 $ 570,000 $ 105,840
5 150 $ 573,316 $ 570,000 $ 3,316
6 185 $ 538,736 n/a $ -
6 197 $ 536,515 n/a $ -
7 226 $ 519,476 n/a $ -

In this table, you can clearly see that only the first seven draft picks would displace an existing contract off the Top 51 list. Furthermore, in the case of the third-, fourth-, and fifth-round picks, the effective cap space needed to sign each player is less than $200,000.

Totaling up the net cap effect of all these contracts brings the total to $4,717,318. Therefore, that is the minimum amount of cap space that the team must conserve in order to remain under the salary cap by signing players drafted in these ten slots — at least for the offseason. The number may change if the Packers make any draft-day trades, but for now that number is effectively set in stone (give or take a few dollars here and there on individual contracts).

Thus, with just over $14 million in total cap space and the need to retain about $4.7 million to sign the draft picks, the Packers still have a little over $9 million in leftover cap space — $9,287,351, to be exact. As a team that likes to retain a few million each year for the regular season, Russ Ball has the Packers right on track for 2019.