Packers structure Kenny Clark's contract to account for expected salary-cap dip in 2021

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GREEN BAY - Details of nose tackle Kenny Clark’s contract extension became available Tuesday and they show the Green Bay Packers structured it to account for an expected drop in the salary cap in 2021.

Clark’s salary number this year dropped $1 million from $7.69 million and is only $7.1 million in ’21. It jumps to $20.65 million in ’22, but by that time the league salary cap should balloon considerably because of new TV contracts and the presumed end of the coronavirus pandemic.

Clark’s salary-cap numbers in 2023 and ’24 are $21.25 million and $22 million.

The total value of the four-year extension is $77.69 million. It features a $25 million signing bonus.

Green Bay Packers defensive tackle Kenny Clark is shown Saturday, August 15, 2020 during the team's first practice at training camp in Green Bay, Wis.

Clark’s base salaries are $1.169 million in ’20, $1 million in ’21, $8 million in ’22, $13 million in ’23 and $15.5 million in ’24. There are roster bonuses of $6.4 million in ’22 and $2 million in ’23.

Clark also has $2.55 million in per-game bonuses and $2.7 million in workout bonuses.

Samuels making an impression

A disappointing 40-yard dash time at the NFL scouting combine may have hurt Stanford Samuels III’s chances of being drafted – especially when pro days were canceled due to the coronavirus pandemic – but that one bad day may be paying off for the Packers. Samuels is a 6-foot-1, 187-pound corner out of Florida State who ran a disappointing 4.65-second 40 in Indianapolis, but the 21-year-old played three seasons with the Seminoles, intercepting eight passes and making 145 tackles.

The undrafted corner has made plays on a consistent basis in team drills, and he recorded his second interception of camp to end Tim Boyle’s opportunity in the two-minute drill Tuesday. Samuels also dropped a pass thrown right at him by Love in red-zone work, which allowed the offense to kick a field goal.

Green Bay Packers cornerback Kabion Ento (48) and cornerback Stanford Samuels III (34) are shown Monday, August 24, 2020 during the team's training camp at Ray Nitschke Field in Ashwaubenon.

The team work was a nice rebound for Samuels, who watched Davante Adams get past him for a long, relatively easy touchdown pass from Aaron Rodgers in one-on-one drills earlier in the practice.

Testing error gives Packers a dry run

Training camp is all about putting people in different positions and seeing how they react – and then learning off that experience to apply to the next chance. The Packers were one of nearly a dozen teams to have their COVID-19 protocols run through a stress test over the weekend when they were informed Saturday night that members of the organization had tested positive.

What proved coincidental – but helpful – was that it was the night before what was to be a physical practice that simulated game action to a degree. So the Packers had to go through a dry run of their internal procedures for retesting, potentially being ready to move positive testers out of the facility and getting replacement players ready to assume a bigger role.

In the end the NFL quickly concluded the tests were all false positives and the Packers practiced as scheduled, but they got a live-scrimmage look at what may happen in season under a similar circumstance.

“Yeah, it absolutely got us thinking about if there was a false positive just exactly what steps are we going to have to take to ensure that we’re not missing one of our players when they in fact don’t have that virus,” LaFleur said. “I think not only that it happened to us, that it happened with 11 other teams or whatever it was, it definitely raises our level of concern. I know that we’re having discussions with the league among each other on exactly what steps we need to take to ensure that this doesn’t happen, and then if it does, what is the recourse?”

If such a thing were to happen on a Saturday night on a game weekend, there is wiggle room with the schedule to allow the teams and league to determine if they were false positive tests. For instance, the season opener Sept. 13 is scheduled for a noon kickoff in Minneapolis. There is potential for the league to push back the start of the game to clarify test results.

This season, teams are allowed to activate a player off the practice squad up to 90 minutes before kickoff if a member of the active roster tests positive for COVID-19.

“As far as some of the testing and some of these false positives, yeah, definitely concerning,” said Packers kicker Mason Crosby, who is the team’s alternate player representative with the NFL Players Association. “But I do think, again, we put in and are constantly evolving some of the protocols where now we have the ability to if you have a positive test, you take a rapid test and if that comes back negative, you will get out of that protocol quicker. We have ways to kind of try to make those false positives or those false negatives as few and far between as possible. Obviously, the situation that occurred here this past week was unique and different. Hopefully we look at it as a fortunate thing that it happened here in camp and not while games were going on and that we can kind of right that ship and not have those things happen once the regular season starts going.”

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