One of the hardest things for the average fan to comprehend is how NFL contracts work and how they apply to a team’s salary cap. There are many complicated elements, rules, and exceptions that can be hard to sort out. In this series, my goal is to help you better understand how this whole system works, plus what it means to the Green Bay Packers’ current salary cap and contract concerns.
Before reading, make sure to check out the previous article(s) in the series:
Our second article focuses on A.J. Hawk and his current contract restructuring. Make no bones about it, this is a pay cut for Hawk; however, it’s not like he’s getting peanuts for the deal. The point of most restructured contracts is to take an original deal and adjust it for cap reasons. A lot of times, teams are looking to push money into the future for present cap relief, though it’s not unheard of to take advantage of current cap room and relieve some of the burden in later years.
We’re going to start by taking a look at Hawk’s original contract. If you’ll remember, the Packers cut Hawk in 2011 to avoid a $10 million base salary, only to turn around and offer him a new five-year contract. Take a look: