Green Bay Packers offensive tackle Lane Taylor reportedly reworked the final year of his contract in order to free up some cash under the cap for the team. NFL Network‘s Tom Pelissero reported on Twitter that the restructured deal will allow the Packers about $3 million worth of flexibility. The new deal is set to pay Taylor $1.5 million this season and he’s also getting $100,000 this year for a signing bonus.
Adam Wells of Bleacher Report said it appears the biggest reason the Packers wanted to do this was so they could sign their 2020 draft picks. The team still hasn’t signed any of its picks, not even first-round choice Jordan Love, who some believe has been tagged as the heir apparent to Aaron Rodgers. Before they reworked the deal with Taylor, the team was said to be pushing up against the cap.
The Packers reportedly had a little over $10 million to spend against the cap before they reworked the deal with Taylor. He was set to have a cap hit of $5.487 million in 2020. The team’s rookie contracts are expected to count for about $2 million against the cap. As Evan Western from the Acme Packing Company pointed out, Taylor’s cap hit was rather large for someone who wasn’t slated to be a starting player this season.
Western added there was quite a bit of speculation the Packers were getting ready to cut the offensive lineman altogether. He believed the team would have followed through with that if the reserve lineman hadn’t agreed to restructure his contract. The analyst also said the team and player were likely talking for quite a while about reworking their latest deal. If they hadn’t been talking throughout free agency and the draft, the team would have likely cut him.
Western said the new contract means the Packers have some sort of role in mind for Taylor. That role could either be as the backup for both guard positions, or he could be given the chance to compete for a starting spot against Billy Turner. The pair would — in that scenario — battle it out for the starting right guard position during fall camp and the preseason.
Western also said this appears to be only good news for the Packers. On the one hand, they are able to save some money and keep a veteran guard on the roster. On the other hand, if the team decides they need to cut Taylor later in the year, his cap hit will be easier to absorb.