Green Bay Packers hand out $56 million in signing bonuses
The Green Bay Packers have been one of the most aggressive teams in the NFL in free agency. A couple of years ago, that statement would’ve been shocking. But it’s true, as the Packers have been one of the biggest spenders out there. They’ve signed big name players like Za’Darius Smith, Billy Turner, Preston Smith, and Adrian Amos to huge contracts.
All told, the Packers have dished out $56 million in signing bonuses in the past week, according to Mike Florio of ProFootballTalk.com. Old Packers GM Ted Thompson was notoriously averse to signing big name free agents, and never would’ve authorized such spending.
But when Thompson stepped down and ceded power to team president Mark Murphy and new GM Brian Gutekunst, everything changed. Rather than pay many of these players guaranteed money years down the line, the Packers are choosing to do it almost all up front.
Almost all of the guaranteed money they’ve given out has been in the form of signing bonuses. Giving it up front ensures that the first year cap charge is low, and the guaranteed money can be spread out over the course of the entire contract for cap purposes. It could come back to haunt them by putting them in bad cap territory years down the line, but it’s helping them now.
With these moves, the new Packers front office is signaling they’re all-in on winning now. They realize they have a relatively brief window of elite play left from Aaron Rodgers, and need to do everything they can to maximize it. From all these free agent signings to the hiring of whizkid Matt LaFleur to be their new head coach, everything about their offseason is screaming bold. If nothing else, it’s a breath of fresh air from the old school way Green Bay used to conduct themselves. If nothing else, it’ll be very fun to watch unfold.