The Packers’ heaviest pay structure isn’t unique

GREEN BAY, Wis. — The Green Bay Packers showed Jaire Alexander the money.

They showed the money to many people.

In terms of average annual salary:

–Aaron Rodgers’ average of $50.3 million is No. 1 among quarterbacks, with Cleveland’s Deshaun Watson a distant second at $46 million.

–David Bakhtiari’s $23 million average is No. 2 among offensive linemen, just $10,000 less than San Francisco’s Trent Williams.

–Alexander’s average of $21 million is No. 1 among cornerbacks, just ahead of Cleveland’s Denzel Ward ($20.1 million) and former champion Jalen Ramsey of the Rams ($20 million).

In all, the Packers have seven players earning at least $10 million a season, with defensive tackle Kenny Clark ($17.5 million), outside linebacker Preston Smith ($13 million), running back Aaron Jones ($12 million) and inside linebacker De’Vondre Campbell. ($10 million) being the others.

And more may be on the way. In 2023, outside linebacker Rashan Gary is expected to play under the fifth-year option of approximately $10.9 million; a contract extension that will blow that number out of the water seems a certainty. Offensive lineman Elgton Jenkins and safety Adrian Amos, two of the best players in their position groups, are entering their final season under contract. And safety Darnell Savage could also be in line for an extension.

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The idea of ​​this story was to highlight the very heavy nature of the Packers salary structure. Here’s the thing, though: it’s not really unique.

Ten teams have more $10 million players per season than Green Bay. Five other teams tie the Packers’ total of seven.

At SI Sportsbook, 13 teams have league odds of +2000 or less. They average 6.8 players with averages of $10 million.

Cleveland, Philadelphia and Tampa Bay have 10 each, with the Buccaneers having five players with averages of at least $15 million. The Chargers only have six, but four of those players average at least $20 million. The Raiders only have five, but they all average at least $17 million.

As an executive from another Super Bowl contender said when asked about the haves and have-nots trend, great players win football games and, as a result, get paid big bucks. Great players are hard to replace. Everyone is consumable. The key is to make the right decisions with who gets the big slices of the salary cap pie, hope the injury gods smile on big-money players, choose draft picks, and strike gold with agents. lower level freebies, like the Packers last year with De’Vondre Campbell and Rasul Douglas.

Cap dollars and total dollars are not the same. Due to their deal structure, caps for Rodgers ($28.53 million), Bakhtiari ($13.42 million), Clark ($9.98 million), and Alexander ($7.08 million ) are considerably lower than their annual averages. Still, it seems worth noting that 12 players consumes around 50.4% of the salary cap, according to

Next year, that’s where it’s going to get complicated. The Packers will have seven players with caps above $10 million in 2023. Rodgers ($31.62 million), Bakhtiari ($29.07 million), Clark ($23.97 million), Jones (20 $.01 million), Alexander ($20 million), Smith ($13.04). million) and Gary ($10.89 million) will gobble up about $148.6 million of the cap. If the cap goes from $208.2 million to $225 million, those seven players will devour 66.0% of the cap.

Some decisions will be easy (restructuring the bonuses of Alexander and Bakhtiari’s roster, for example). Others will be tough (potentially freeing Jones). Either way, it’s the price of doing business when you’ve assembled a roster of talented veterans.

William M. Mayer