During the season, the Packers gave tackle David Bakhtiari a massive new contract. Bakhtiari has now given the team some cap flexibility.
Via Ian Rapoport of NFL Media, Bakhtiari agreed to convert an $11 million roster bonus due next month into a signing bonus. The transformation allows the payment to be spread over multiple years for cap purposes. It creates $8.3 million in cap space for 2021. Bakhtiari essentially confirmed the move, retweeting the Rapoport tweet with a “you’re welcome” gif.
The new deal reduces Bakhtiari’s 2021 cap number from $19.322 million to $11.01 million. It increases his cap number for 2022 through 2024 by $2.768 million each year.
This type of restructuring, which costs the player no money, could be more common than usual this year, given the likely reduction in the salary cap from $198.2 million in 2020. Pushing cap dollars to future years will be easier to justify this year, given that the cap likely will climb in 2022 and beyond.
For the Packers, the extra money will come in handy, especially if they hope to re-sign pending free agents running back Aaron Jones and center Corey Linsley. The cap space also could be used to pursue new free agents, like Wisconsin native J.J. Watt.