Morning Buzz: More Packers salary-cap casualties on the way?
Welcome to your Morning Buzz, rounding up news and views regarding the Green Bay Packers and the NFL from around the web and here at PackersNews.com. Grab a strong cup of coffee and get caught up on everything you need to know about the Packers.
We’ll start with Michael Cohen’s look at Bryan Bulaga’s tenuous hold on a roster spot given his inability to stay on the field while having a significant salary-cap hit. Could Bulaga follow Jordy Nelson out the door as a cap casualty?
At 29, Bulaga is entering the second-to-last season of a five-year, $33.75 million extension that has been rather burdensome for the Packers given the player’s injury woes. When healthy, Bulaga is a solid right tackle who raises the level of performance for the offensive line as a whole. The problem is that he has appeared in just 33 of 48 regular-season games since signing the new deal March 20, 2015, and carries a cap hit of $7.9 million for 2018.
Still, McCarthy said he wants Bulaga to be part of the team next season.
“I would hope so,” McCarthy said. “All feedback I’ve been given is (positive). He’s in Florida training, he’s going through his rehab program. But just talking to Dr. (Patrick) McKenzie … he feels that Bryan is right on course.”
Should Gutekunst decide to release Bulaga — or if Bulaga is still recovering at the start of next season — the Packers may have two new faces along the right side of their offensive line. Veteran guard Jahri Evans was viewed as a short-term solution when he signed a one-year deal prior to last year’s draft, and it’s unclear whether the Packers would seriously entertain bringing back a player who turns 35 in September and whose physical abilities have started to wane. There’s also the possibility that, after 12 seasons, Evans simply decides to retire.
Kyle Murphy and Jason Spriggs are the most viable options to replace Bulaga from the Packers’ pool of players, though both are recovering from serious injuries themselves. Murphy underwent foot surgery in early October and finished the year on injured reserve, while Spriggs dislocated his kneecap in December and is questionable to participate in organized team activities, according to McCarthy.
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