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Nick Perry's big deal has low 2017 cap number

Ryan Wood
USA TODAY NETWORK-Wisconsin

GREEN BAY – Nick Perry’s newly signed five-year contract will make him the Green Bay Packers’ highest-paid player in 2017 at $20.8 million but counts just under $6 million against next season’s salary cap, according to a source with access to the contract.

Green Bay Packers outside linebacker Nick Perry (53) sacks New York Giants quarterback Eli Manning (10) in the second half of the Green Bay Packers 23-16 win over the New York Giants at Lambeau Field in Green Bay, October 2016.

Based on salary information on the NFLPA website, that leaves the Packers about $32 million in cap room after signing what likely will be their most expensive player this offseason.

Perry, the Packers’ sacks leader last season, signed a five-year, $60 million contract Thursday that included an $18.5 million bonus. The deal made him the league’s seventh-highest-paid outside linebacker at an average of $12 million a year.

Quarterback Aaron Rodgers will be the Packers’ second-highest paid player in 2017 at $13.6 million total cash, though his $20.3 million cap hit is highest. Clay Matthews is third at $10.975 million total cash with a $15.075 cap number.

Perry will receive $7.2 million total in salary and bonuses in 2018, meaning almost half the deal ($28 million) will be paid in the first two seasons.

The deal was structured so Perry’s salary-cap number stays low this season. The huge bulk of the cap money is absorbed by rising salary caps in the final four years: $10.9 million in 2018; $14.7 million in 2019; $14.3 million in 2020; and $14.1 million in 2021.

The contract’s structure in essence makes it a two-year deal worth $28 million with a team option the final three seasons if Perry is healthy and playing well. It includes roster bonuses due on the third day of the league year in 2018 ($4.3 million) and ’19 ($4.8 million).

After making the $28 million total cash in his first two years, Perry will receive $11 million in salary and bonuses in 2019; $10.6 million in 2020; and $10.4 million in 2021.

In the final four seasons of his contract, Perry has a $250,000 bonus for making the Pro Bowl. He does not have a Pro Bowl bonus in 2017.

rwood@gannett.com and follow him on Twitter @ByRyanWood