With the massive loss of revenue from the 2020 COVID-19 season, multiple NFL franchises are scrambling to free up cap space in 2021.
The Green Bay Packers currently find themselves in the thick of this process. Earlier this week, the team released outside linebacker Christian Kirksey and offensive tackle Ricky Wagner to clear more than $10 million in cap space. Still, the Packers are about $13 million over their cap floor of $180 million.
The most common loophole being utilized this offseason is the conversion base salary payment into signing bonuses. According to ESPN's Rob Demovsky, Green Bay is expected to rework Aaron Rodgers' 2021 contract in this way.
Heading into his 17th year with the Packers, Rodgers is scheduled to earn $15 million in base salary with a $6.8 million roster bonus, per Spotrac. Currently scheduled to make $11.5 million off signing bonuses, that number could jump up significantly if the front office decides to allocate his salaried cash elsewhere.
This certainly isn't out of the question. Just last week, Green Bay offered a similar deal to star left tackle David Bakhtiari -- converting his $11 million roster bonus into a signing bonus. The ability to prorate his payment over the next four years allowed to team to clear more than $8 million in cap space.
Through his 2020 MVP season, Rodgers lit up the NFL with 4,299 yards and a league-leading 48 touchdown passes. The nine-time Pro Bowl quarterback also led the league in completion percentage (70.7) and QB rating (121.5/total QBR: 84.4).
With Rodgers' future in Green Bay somewhat uncertain, it's clearly in the team's best interest to figure out a contract situation that works for everyone.