30

May

The Green Bay Packers and the 2011 Salary Cap: What Ted Thompson Might be Thinking

Packers GM Ted Thompson might have to make some tough calls if the Packers are over the 2011 salary cap.

Brian Carriveau of Cheesehead TV raised an interesting question recently: How will a salary cap in 2011 impact the Green Bay Packers?

The Packers had one of the highest payrolls in the NFL last season. The new collective bargaining agreement likely will include a salary cap, which could require the Packers to trim payroll.

Of course, the Packers have people on staff whose main duties include managing payroll and maneuvering within the salary cap. The Packers probably would not have to purge half their roster like the Chicago Blackhawks did after winning the Stanley Cup in 2010, but a few moves may be necessary.

Zach Kruse’s recent post examined possible cuts for the Packers in 2011. Lets expand on that a bit. If the Packers had to make cuts to fit under the salary cap, who could they spare? Of course, it would depend on several factors, but if Ted Thompson approached the issue using a categorized list, here is how I think that list might look.

Untouchable
Aaron Rodgers, QB
BJ Raji, NT
Charles Woodson, CB
Greg Jennings, WR
Clay Matthews, OLB
Josh Sitton, OG

These players should stay with the Packers no matter what. There is no way they should be cut. They should only be mentioned in trade talks if a team is dumb enough to propose a Herschel Walker to the Vikings type of deal (even that would not be good enough to get Rodgers).

I debated if Woodson and Sitton should be on the untouchable list, Woodson because he’s old and Sitton because he’s due for a mega contract after 2011. I kept Woodson in the untouchable category because even though he’s not the cover corner he once was, he does so many other things at a high level that I’m not sure how the Packers would replace him.

Sitton will probably get a megadeal sometime soon, which made me think Ted Thompson would listen to trade offers if someone called with the right deal. But you can never have enough elite talent protecting Rodgers, so Sitton makes the untouchables.

Keepers
Nick Collins, S
Tramon Williams, CB
Sam Shields, CB
Jermichael Finley, TE
Chad Clifton, LT