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The NFL and the NFLPA have agreed to set the 2022 salary cap ceiling at $208.2 million, according to Dan Graziano of ESPN, but no team is currently in more cap trouble looking ahead to next season than the Green Bay Packers.

According to Over the Cap, the Packers are already $29.1 million over the cap ceiling in 2022. No team has more salary cap dollars committed to players next season. In fact, no team is even $20 million over currently, and only three total are projected to be over the cap.

Also, the $208.2 million is only the cap ceiling and not necessarily the official cap number for 2022. It could be lower, possibly closer to $200 million, but it can’t go up any higher.

The Packers have roughly $131 million committed to five players in 2022: quarterback Aaron Rodgers, edge rusher Za’Darius Smith, left tackle David Bakhtiari, defensive lineman Kenny Clark and edge rusher Preston Smith.

The Packers’ cap commitments in 2022 don’t even include receiver Davante Adams, who is in line for a massive contract extension.

General manager Brian Gutekunst entered the 2021 offseason in cap trouble, and the team’s solution was restructuring deals for veteran players and pushing cap money to future years to keep the roster mostly intact. He’ll have just as much work to do next spring to get his team cap compliant by the start of the new league year.

Of course, the future of Rodgers is very much in doubt, especially past 2021. He would provide massive cap savings if no longer in Green Bay. And the Packers will almost certainly have to address the contracts of both Za’Darius Smith and Preston Smith, so there are ways out of this hole.

Gutekunst and the Packers have talked about the cap in terms of a two-year window. The first step is over. The next, in 2022, might be equally challenging.


All the moves the Packers made to get under the salary cap to start 2021