Packers shell out $56 million in signing bonuses

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These aren’t Ted Thompson’s Packers.

The former G.M. of the franchise treated free agency like a ball of anthrax covered in smallpox. The new G.M. of the team, Brian Gutekunst, is embracing it.

So far this week, the Packers have added defensive end Za'Darius Smith, linebacker Preston Smith, safety Adrian Amos, and offensive lineman Billy Turner. And with signing bonuses the primary device for paying out guaranteed money under each of these deals, the Packers will be paying a total of $56 million up front to these four players.

Per a source with knowledge of the contracts, Za’Darius Smith gets $20 million, Preston Smith gets $16 million, Amos gets $11 million, and Turner gets $9 million. With the exception of a $1 million roster bonus paid to Amos this year, these four deals carry no other guaranteed money.

This is a twist on the pay-as-you-go approach that plenty of other teams employ, consisting of guaranteed money being dumped into future years. The Packers instead will peel off the big bills early, keeping the first year cap charge low and pushing millions of cap costs into future years, with little or no guaranteed payments for the players beyond the first payment earned.

44 responses to “Packers shell out $56 million in signing bonuses

  1. Amazing that we could give AR the deal he got…be able to pick up 4 solid free agents….and have cap space left! Loving the new regime.

  2. Yes, all 4 players signed by the Packers yesterday only used up 24.3 million of cap space for 2019.

    It’s good to have the best in business in Brian Gutekunst and Russ Ball in Green Bay.👏

    #GoPackGo!🧀

  3. Unfortunately this is the price that had to be paid for a disastrous 2015 draft.
    Free Agency is often filled with fools gold, and should never be used to retool your team every year.
    A locker room with a revolving door of egos is usually not a good option, and there simply is no substitute for drafting and developing your own guys, your own way.

    Hopefully Green Bay plugged a few holes effectively this week.
    It obviously opens up their draft quite a bit, allowing them to really trust their board and opt for the BPAs.
    And with 10 picks at his disposal, Gutekunst will definitely be able to put his stamp on this team.

    People can pass judgment on this week’s free agent acquisitions as much as they want, and they will, but nothing will truly be known until September and beyond.

  4. LOL, it will be so joyous to watch the Vikings implode with Cousins, the Bears regress with a tough schedule, and the Lions are, well … the Lions.

  5. mccarthyisamoron says:
    March 14, 2019 at 10:49 am
    Super Bowl LIV ==> Packers vs. Browns

    @@@@&&&&&&&

    Another off season championship for the packers

  6. Say what you want about the moves Gute is making, but at least he’s doing SOMETHING. Ted Thompson’s uber-conservative approach to free agency and stockpiling mid to high-round draft picks stopped working half way through his tenure as GM. Had they kept him on it would have just been more of the same and expecting better results.

    I, for one, as a fan, am excited that they’re being aggressive filling the holes on their team because it’s refreshing to be doing something new. I think most of the players will work out, but even if they don’t, it’s not the same old draft-and-develop high-round pick guys and street free agents and they’re taking a different strategy for success.

  7. Green bay is done. They have no chance, as soon as the overrated crybaby Rodgers, has a hangnail and limps off the field.Former players don’t like him. He is no leader. Nothing but excuses up in Green Bay. Lions, Bears, Vikings have been terrible teams most of Rodgers career, and he has done nothing. Rodgers is a glorified Jeff George or Jay Cutler is all.

  8. ariani1985 says:

    Lots of money for mid tier players! Soon within 3 years 3rd place will be in their grasp!
    —————————-
    On most free agents boards, 3 of these signings are in the top 15 overall so ya have that . . .

  9. It’s not just because of the change of office, its basically because they going all-in on Aaron’s quickly shrinking window. And the smartest way to get guys in is by giving a juicy upfront signing bonus but back-loading the rest of the contracts. If the backloaded parts really are unguaranteed it’s smart – it’ll mean some/all those guys will prob be gone sooner than later but it gives Aaron one last best shot at another ring. Aaron talks about playing like Brady til 45 but frankly at 35 he’s taken to many hits/reconstructions to last more than a couple of years. After which Packers will be in rebuild – even bigger rebuild the more agents they buy in now.

  10. The signings just gave more proof that Gute is fully in WIN NOW mode. I have no problem with WIN NOW mode.

    As one NFL scout said:

    “I like what they are doing in Green Bay. I like the players they picked up. Did they overpay for them? Maybe. But so what? The cap is going to go up again next year. They’re all good guys, they’re all good players, they’re all scrappy.”

    #GoPackGo!👏

  11. ariani1985 says:
    March 14, 2019 at 10:39 am
    Lots of money for mid tier players! Soon within 3 years 3rd place will be in their grasp!
    ______________

    If you weren’t talking about how TT was “asleep at the wheel” during the tampering period, some may be inclined to believe you, but you have proven that you don’t know what you are talking about.

  12. Take some considerable time to compare the moves the Packers made to the moves the Vikings have made.

    Done.

  13. shaggytoodle says:
    March 14, 2019 at 12:27 pm
    ariani1985 says:
    March 14, 2019 at 10:39 am
    Lots of money for mid tier players! Soon within 3 years 3rd place will be in their grasp!
    ______________
    If you weren’t talking about how TT was “asleep at the wheel” during the tampering period, some may be inclined to believe you, but you have proven that you don’t know what you are talking about.
    ——-
    He’s just a lonely loser, looking for attention!!!

  14. “Lots of money for mid tier players”

    ——-

    Whether or not the players are that good, the strategy is sound for both the players and the team. As we know, almost all contracts are ended prematurely, and big money deals can put a team in the coffin with dead money for years afterward. The players know the team won’t honor the full length of the deal most of the time, and the team knows that the players have a high chance of not sustaining the high level performance that got them the deal in the first place. This way, the players get paid while the team still gets some flexibility in rearranging the roster as their needs develop.

  15. freefromwhatyouare says:

    Yes, all 4 players signed by the Packers yesterday only used up 24.3 million of cap space for 2019.

    It’s good to have the best in business in Brian Gutekunst and Russ Ball in Green Bay.
    ###

    To have already paid $56 mil to the 4 fa signings, yet only use less than half of that money towards the current season’s cap just means they have back loaded the cap hit.

    Even with this burst of fa signings, the Packers still only have the third best roster in the NFCN.

    Gutekunst has a career record as a GM of third place. You are what your record is.

    If Gute was so great, he would have the authority to hire and fire a head coach on his own.

    He doesn’t.

    That is not the “best in the business” by a long shot.

    It’s just different from TT. And TT had the power to hire and fire…

    Of course, I remember Packer fans claiming TT was the best in the business too.

    Another preseason championship.

  16. The 56 million is coming from somewhere, it’s all an exercise in deceptive accounting!
    >>>>>><<<<<<<
    The Packer's organization is flush with cash. If there's deceptive accounting going on, their financials are there for everyone to look at. The only truly transparent financial statements to see in all of the NFL.

  17. Gutie is simply making up for TTs incompetence the last three years of the draft. This money is no more than would have been paid to players drafted by the team if they had panned out (or even made the team). I think Gutie wades into FA pretty deep this year, but goes back to more of a Ron Wolf draft and develop after that. He realizes (unlike TT) that you don’t always have to be the youngest team in the league.

  18. Michael Saphiere says:
    March 14, 2019 at 11:43 am

    Green bay is done. They have no chance, as soon as the overrated crybaby Rodgers, has a hangnail and limps off the field.Former players don’t like him. He is no leader. Nothing but excuses up in Green Bay. Lions, Bears, Vikings have been terrible teams most of Rodgers career, and he has done nothing. Rodgers is a glorified Jeff George or Jay Cutler is all.
    __________

    Whether or not the Packers are done, has yet to be proven, but you couldn’t be more wrong about Aaron Rodgers as a teammate, or as a team leader.

    Aside from a couple of sour comments, and let’s face it, not everyone gets along during the course of a long career, there have been countless positive and glowing endorsements about Aaron Rodgers and his leadership of the Green Bay Packers.

    But, I’ll just leave you with the latest two: recently retired FB, John Kuhn, who played with Rodgers for 9 seasons, was positively glowing with his anecdotes about the future Hall of Fame QB, both on and off the field.
    He, in fact, frequently cited Rodgers’ locker room presence and leadership skills for much of his own success.
    Also, future Hall of Famer, Julius Peppers, (who’s had quite a few teammates during a long and illustrious career) called Aaron Rodgers the ultimate teammate during his retirement speech.

    Look, if you simply want to irrationally hate on the guy, go ahead and hate, knock yourself out, but please come up with a different narrative.
    This one’s been disproven time and again.

  19. gtodriver says:
    March 14, 2019 at 1:42 pm

    Gutekunst has a career record as a GM of third place. You are what your record is.

    ++++++

    Kirk Cousins 34-37-2. And your Vikes still paid him $84 million guaranteed. Even though he is what his record says, sub-par.

  20. Everybody on the board is right so far to some degree, with the usual odd and infantile exception. Packers gave out decent signing bonuses but limited the base salary in year 1 to minimize the cap hit.

    The two Smith deals might be expensive in Year 3 and Year 4 so it adds importance for the pack to have a good draft with the ten picks they have this year. The new rooks will be on their rookie contracts for the duration of the Smith contracts.

    And if both Smiths fail to produce, they will be gone after 2021 with a dead cap hit of $9M but a cap savings of $27M. See how that works?

  21. filthymcnasty3 says:
    March 14, 2019 at 2:11 pm
    Viking fans are petrified we’re going to win another one.
    ——————————

    I’ve barely heard of any of these guys except for Billy Turner. That’s because I’m a NDSU Bison fan. So it’s more it’s more like a shoulder shrug and a “Meh”

  22. Liberalsruineverything says:
    March 14, 2019 at 2:56 pm

    I’ve barely heard of any of these guys except for Billy Turner. That’s because I’m a NDSU Bison fan.

    ++++++++

    Thank you for acknowledging that you are uninformed. A rare, refreshing admission from the other side of the river.

  23. Liberalsruineverything says:
    March 14, 2019 at 2:56 pm
    filthymcnasty3 says:
    March 14, 2019 at 2:11 pm
    Viking fans are petrified we’re going to win another one.
    ——————————

    I’ve barely heard of any of these guys except for Billy Turner. That’s because I’m a NDSU Bison fan. So it’s more it’s more like a shoulder shrug and a “Meh”
    ______________

    Thank you, your post should speaks volumes about Barney fans throughout these boards.
    I get so tired of having to point it out myself.

  24. gtodriver says:
    March 14, 2019 at 1:42 pm
    Gutekunst has a career record as a GM of third place. You are what your record is.
    ________________________

    GM is something totally different than a player, Gute came in with someone else’s head coach and roster. He needs to get his players, in the system and coached up before we can start grading a GM, The same with coaches you need to give them 3 seasons before seeing if there system works it takes time for players to learn, get comfortable and then thrive.

    Fortunately for Gute he didn’t have nearly the mess that some GMs inherit, such as Reggie McKenzie going to Oak.

  25. lol. a lot of wishful thinking from the purple fail factory. are you guys going to win anything or just talk about a player that has a ring and 2 MVPs? he’s better than any viking player ever. you cant even argue that.

  26. packertruth says:

    Kirk Cousins 34-37-2. And your Vikes still paid him $84 million guaranteed. Even though he is what his record says, sub-par.
    ###

    Football is a team game. Gute is in charge of the entire team and they finished 3rd.

    Cousins played for Washington that had an average finish of 3rd in a weak division.

    Name me 1 other QB in the NFC North that has thrown for over 4,000 yards and 25 or more TD’s in each of the last 4 seasons…

    There aren’t any.

    Heck, there are only 3 have have done it. Brady, Rivers and Cousins – that’s it.

    And don’t blame Rodgers broken collarbone for him not being in that group. 2017 is just one of the two seasons he didn’t hit 4000 yards in the last four seasons.

  27. hagemeisterpark920 says:
    March 14, 2019 at 11:53 am
    ariani1985 says:

    Lots of money for mid tier players! Soon within 3 years 3rd place will be in their grasp!
    —————————-
    On most free agents boards, 3 of these signings are in the top 15 overall so ya have that . . .

    ESPN grades:

    Za’Darius Smith 4 yrs/$66 million = D+
    Adrian Amos 4 yrs/$37 million = B-
    Billy Turner 4 yrs/$28 million = D
    Preston Smith 4 yrs/$52 million = C-

    so ya have that.

  28. On most free agents boards, 3 of these signings are in the top 15 overall so ya have that . . .
    ——
    3 of the top 15 of … players whose teams no longer prioritized to pay for their services. That like saying an owner has a top 15 restaurant … in Green Bay.

  29. gtodriver says:
    March 14, 2019 at 5:55 pm

    Heck, there are only 3 have have done it (thrown for over 4,000 yards and 25 or more TD’s in each of the last 4 seasons). Brady, Rivers and Cousins – that’s it.
    +++++

    So the only QB who has managed those stats and has not won a playoff game is Cousins. Sounds right.

  30. filthymcnasty3 says:
    March 14, 2019 at 2:11 pm
    Viking fans are petrified we’re going to win another one.
    ——-
    Another game? I think you might win 4 or 5 games this year and get an even higher draft pick given your teams current trajectory and rookie head coach saddled with a soft injury prone qb.

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