Packers cut ties with Tim Boyle, gain cap space by redoing Preston Smith, Adrian Amos deals
GREEN BAY - At the same time Green Bay Packers general manager Brian Gutekunst was restructuring the contracts of veterans Preston Smith and Adrian Amos, he also made it clear that Jordan Love would be his backup quarterback this year.
Gutekunst and vice president of finance Russ Ball have been busy cutting into the $9.7 million salary-cap overage the club is facing heading into the Wednesday deadline for being in compliance with the $182.5 million league cap.
A source told the Journal Sentinel that the Packers had made changes to Smith’s contract to lower the salary-cap number but did not have details.
Smith is due a base salary of $6.85 million and a roster bonus of $4 million this year and has a salary-cap number of $16 million.
NFL Network later reported that Smith had his salary cut from $12 million to $8 million and had $6.5 million of that money converted to a signing bonus. So, instead of receiving the $4 million roster bonus next week, he'll receiver $6.5 million immediately.
The maneuver reduces his salary-cap number from $16 million to $9 million.
According to ESPN, the Packers made a minor adjustment with Amos’ contract as well. He was due a $1.5 million roster bonus and by turning it into a signing bonus, the Packers would cut $750,000 from their cap this year.
At the same time the contracts were being altered, a source confirmed that backup quarterback Tim Boyle would not receive a qualifying offer and will be free to negotiate with the rest of the league. NFL.com was the first to report that Boyle would not receive an offer.
The decision means Love is expected to be the backup quarterback.
The Packers would have had to offer Boyle, a restricted free agent, $2.1 million to keep him and they weren’t going to do that with Love on the roster. As much as they like Boyle, who took all the backup snaps last season, they can’t afford to pay him that much to be their No. 3.
According to the source, the Packers have interest in re-signing Boyle, but it’s unlikely they’ll do so. There should be clubs who are willing to pay Boyle more than the Packers and allow him to compete for their backup position.
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One possible destination could be the Dallas Cowboys, where former Packers coach Mike McCarthy will probably be in the market for another quarterback. Boyle played under McCarthy his rookie year and McCarthy spoke highly of his potential while there.
If Boyle doesn’t return, Gutekunst has 10 draft picks and could easily spend one on another quarterback.
The move does put pressure on Love to show he is ready for the NFL. The Packers knew he was a project given he came from a spread offense in college and COVID-19 robbed him of a normal offseason and training camp, which affected his transition to the league.