Cap Melt: Packers Reach Injury Settlements To Gain Cap Space

Some recent injury settlements increased the Packers salary cap space.

The Packers have had some misfortune on the injury front so far this season, though at least no starters have been involved (knock on wood).  The Packers have reached 14 injury settlements so far this year, including seven of the players I listed as being on the IR in my last Cap Melt article.  They recently reached injury settlements with Gabe Brkic on September 20th and with Osirus Mitchell on the 19th.

Strictly speaking, the Packers actually reached settlements with Ismael Hyman on September 7, Shawn Davis on the 8th, and with Byers and Gaines on the 9th.  Malik Taylor reached an agreement on the 15th of September.  However, Overthecap was still listing those players on the IR List, and that was reflected in my last article.  Mitchell and Brkic agreed to settlements on the 19th and 20th.

All of these injury settlement amounts count against the cap.  Per Ken Ingalls, Malik Taylor's injury settlement was for $397,778 (8 weeks of his $895K base salary).  Thus, the Packers increased their cap space by $497,222 with the injury settlement for Taylor.  Ken Ingalls also noted that on September 2 the Packers paid an injury settlement of $191,111 to Danny Davis.  His cap number had been $430,000, so that increased the Packers' cap space by $238,889. 

I do not know the exact amount of the injury settlements paid to the other players, but Ken Ingalls reported on September 17th that Taylor and Davis each got 8 weeks, the longest time and therefore the largest amounts up to that date.  Since Mitchell and Brkic settled after the 17th, the amounts they received could have been for more or less than 8 weeks.  

 

Player Cap # Payment Net Gain
Akial Byers $432,666 Unknown At least $238,889
Nate Becker $430,000 Unknown At least $238,889
Ismael Hyman $430,000 Unknown At least $238,889
Alize Mack $430,000 Unknown At least $238,889
Innis Gaines $430,000 Unknown At least $238,889
Shawn Davis $430,000 Unknown At least $238,889
Osirus Mitchell $430,000 At least $47,778 Unknown
Gabe Brkic $430,000 At least $47,788 Unknown
Malik Taylor $895,000 $397,778 $497,222
       
Danny Davis $430,000 $191,111 (9/2/22) $238,889

 It would be nice if the Packers had picked up the cap number total as additional cap space, but that is not how things work.  First, though Overthecap didn't update their list of players on the IR in real time, it looks like they included all of the settlements through roughly September 15th in their running estimate of the team's cap space.  Second, while the Packers did gain cap space recently, they also placed Krys Barnes and his $895,000 cap number on the injured reserve list on September 13th.  Note that doing so doesn't change anything: the cost is elevating Caleb Jones to the 53-man roster to replace Barnes, and Jones' new cap number is $665,000.

I do not know the net increase in salary cap space for the two most recent settlements, but it is presumably reflected in Overthecap's newly increased estimate of cap space.  The NFLPA increased their calculation of the Packers' cap space by $358,333 between the 20th and the 23rd, but it is not known if that reflected the settlements of both Brkic and Mitchell or if the paperwork for just one of them had been processed.

Brkic and Mitchell were still on the IR after two games, so we know the Packers owed each of them at least $47,788 ($430K/18 Weeks = $23,888.89 times two).  If they had been healthy enough to pass a physical, the Packers and the NFL Transactions report would have just listed them as Waived - No Recall, but instead they were listed as Waived - Injury Settlement.  It is thus likely that in addition to the $47,788, each player got one or more additional game checks.  

As of September 21, Overthecap's latest update increased their estimate of the Packers current cap space to $9,354,820.  However, that seems high to me; Ken Ingalls listed the Packers with $8.318M and the NFLPA shows $8.103M.  Krys Barnes ($895K) and Vernon Scott (915K) remain on IR.  If Krys Barnes can return to the 53-man roster, even if it is six weeks from now, that likely would save a couple of hundred thousand more. 

I have no idea about the nature or extent of Vernon Scott's injury.  Given the lack of depth at the safety position, Ken Ingalls speculated they may just keep Scott on the IR so as to retain his rights in 2023.  I am not sure if that is a sound notion because I don't think he has shown that much.  I suppose it depends on how long he remains injured.  If Scott's injury means he cannot be released until week 17, then perhaps just leaving him on the IR for one extra week at a cost of $49,167 in cash and cap space might be best, but if he can be released after 14 weeks, keeping him on the IR eats up $196,668 in cash and cap space.  I do not think retaining Scott's rights for 2023 would be worth almost $200K of cap space.  I suspect that the Packers would be able to sign Scott to a futures contract next year, and if not, someone else equally attractive given Scott's new minimum cap number would be $1.01M.  

The Packers paid $588,889 in injury settlements to Taylor and Danny Davis (which moves to the dead money category now that they have been released from IR).  It would not be surprising if the other 12 injury settlements cost as much or more in total.  

Other News:

The Packers signed ILB DQ Thomas to the Practice Squad on September 20, releasing WR Travis Fulgham to make room.  On September 22, the Packers signed WR Travis Fulgham back to the Practice Squad, releasing S Mike Brown (signed on September 14) to make room.  Signing Fulgham back to the Practice Squad could have something to do with no less than four wide receivers not participating in Thursday's practice: Christian Watson (Hamstring), Allen Lazard (Ankle), Sammy Watkins (Hamstring), and Randall Cobb (illness) all missed practice yesterday.  That is a tough break for Mike Brown, but at least he will earn $23,000 ($11,500 for last week and another $11,500 for this week).  The Packers will issue one extra check this week for the PS than they normally do. 

Per Ian Rapoport, the Baltimore Ravens have reached a one year agreement with OLB Jason Pierre-Paul worth up to $5.5 million.  Per OTC, the Ravens only had $5.4M in cap space prior to signing Pierre-Paul, so presumably a lot of that $5.5 million includes unlikely-to-be-earned incentives.  He most likely signed for something close to a minimum base salary with three or four million possible through incentives. 

Pierre-Paul played 601 snaps in 12 games last year with 2.5 sacks, and received a 49.1 grade from Pro Football Focus, but he was a pro bowler in 2020, recording 9.5 sacks.  It is hard to judge which position might need reinforcements the most so early in the season, but OLB and the defensive secondary both seem like possible areas.  I do not know if the Packers are happy with their backup OLBs, or if they think Pierre-Paul's best days are behind him: all we know is that the Packers did not pull that particular trigger.       

 

Photo courtesy of Jeff Hanisch, USA Today.

 

 

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Comments (16)

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PatrickGB's picture

September 23, 2022 at 03:56 pm

And they could have picked up Cole Beasley. That might have been helpful. AmRodgers is not living up to expectations and Cobb struggling with injuries. And today we find out that Sammy is out for Sunday. So, of course, Tampa picked him up.

But I also understand that the team is going to need cap space for many players next year. So maybe the plan is to roll it over.

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Thegreatreynoldo's picture

September 23, 2022 at 04:31 pm

Beasley asked to be traded from Buffalo. I believe there were some bad feelings when it leaked that Beasley hadn't been vaccinated. He gained 693 receiving yards in 2021, and PFF graded him pretty well, but his yards per target dropped to 6.2 and his Adot dropped to 5.6 yards. He is just 5'8" and turned 33 in April. He used to return punts but hasn't for 3 years and his average of 5.5 yards was nothing to write home about. As it happens, he muffed his first punt return Wednesday at the Bucs' practice. It appears he came cheap, since he was on a PS, as his minimum would be $995K for the rest of the season.

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Coldworld's picture

September 23, 2022 at 05:25 pm

I don’t see how Beasley was a fit on this roster, at least while Cobb is healthy and we are still keeping Rodgers to return. We’ve a number of slot capable players, including Lazard, who took most of the snaps there last week. Where we are short is the Perimeter and particularly the X receiver.

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PatrickGB's picture

September 24, 2022 at 11:01 am

Cold, I understand your reasoning. Yet I actually did think that Cole would be a fit. I believe that we drafted Rodgers to fill that slot role. He is not panning out. Cobb’s best days are behind him. And others like Lazard can play slot but they don’t have the quicks like a Beasley. I believe that a true slot WR would improve our passing game. Yes, I agree that we have slot capable players but no real specialist in that role.

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Thegreatreynoldo's picture

September 23, 2022 at 04:08 pm

If anyone knows of a source that provides the amount paid for injury settlements, please let me know below. Obviously OTC, Spotrac either have sources or know where to find that information, and Ken Ingalls sometimes tweets out exact amounts. I looked all over for a website, but found no information.

I would guess that the other 12 settlements reduced GB's cap space by $550K, and I would put the over/under at $625K for them. Mind, I don't have the numbers on those, so it could be less or considerably more. Taylor and Davis getting injured resulted in a loss of cap space of almost $600K. Vernon Scott is at almost $100K and counting. Barnes will miss at least 4 weeks, so pencil in at least $200K. $1.5M doesn't seem unlikely in cap space loss to date.

Yeah, I guess I am either a cheap SOB or just obsessive, but GB signing Fulgham back to the PS at a cost of $11,500 just so they can have 5 WRs for practice seems goofy to me. Or, will we see both Winfree and Fulgham elevated for Tampa Bay? Okay, time not to sweat the small stuff.

I know there have been a handful of folks advocating for Pierre-Paul. I don't blame them, but I think keeping the powder try is probably the better option.

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PackyCheese500's picture

September 23, 2022 at 05:35 pm

Pierre-Paul is now on the Ravens. What would you think of re-uniting with Blake Martinez and converting him to OLB? He wasn't great in coverage, and had 11 sacks from 2018-2020, his last fully healthy seasons.

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LLCHESTY's picture

September 23, 2022 at 05:55 pm

So if you're on the PS for any part of that week you get paid?

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Thegreatreynoldo's picture

September 23, 2022 at 09:07 pm

I believe so. Ken Ingalls also noted that Mike Brown would still be paid for the week even though he was waived on Thursday. Brown actually would have practiced on Wednesday. The day after a game is an off day, so I do believe a club could waive said player that day without counting as a member of the team for the week preceding a game. The PS Player Contract:

"4. COMPENSATION. For performance of Player’s services and all other promises of Player, Club will pay Player a weekly salary of $___________ for each week during
the Regular Season and each week that the Club is in the Postseason so long as Player is a
member of Club’s Practice Squad during the week preceding the game in question."

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chaka's picture

September 23, 2022 at 04:16 pm

They should trade for Jake Kumerow. Hes just rotting on the bench in Buffalo. Probably one of the stupidest cuts Gutey ever made. Rodgers considered him the #2 receiver in camp and he kept 2 now out of the NFL WR’s over the still in the league Kumerow.

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Coldworld's picture

September 23, 2022 at 05:29 pm

What would you trade for a 30 year old with less than 500 yards in his career? He’s actually caught 2 passes for 50 yards, so he is hardly rotting and, by his standards, is frenetically busy (that’s as much as the whole of last year for more than twice the yardage).

Let’s just give Janis a call. He’s free. He’s only a year older, faster, taller and would help our STs. I’m sure he’s been lifting tires.

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PackyCheese500's picture

September 23, 2022 at 05:36 pm

Why Kumerow when there are better FA options like OBJ or Will Fuller?

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LLCHESTY's picture

September 23, 2022 at 05:54 pm

You've probably watched that water go under the bridge for long enough. It was a surprise cut but not a shocking one.

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PackyCheese500's picture

September 23, 2022 at 05:37 pm

What would you all think of re-uniting with Blake Martinez and converting him to OLB? He wasn't great in coverage, and had 11 sacks from 2018-2020, his last fully healthy seasons. We need OLB depth

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Thegreatreynoldo's picture

September 23, 2022 at 10:12 pm

Folks suggested letting Quay Walker play some OLB. Martinez is only 6'1" and a half. He entered the league at 237, but I imagine he is 250 now? Still a little short and slow for OLB? I don't remember him being able to beat offensive linemen. His sacks were on blitzs that were schemed, weren't they?

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PackyCheese500's picture

September 23, 2022 at 10:41 pm

I don't know about the schemes, but he's still listed as 237, and had a 4.71 40, not the greatest but not terrible either. He seems like the best available option, though. The Packers could also give Benson Mayowa a call on the FA market, maybe?

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Thegreatreynoldo's picture

September 23, 2022 at 09:44 pm

I would note that the NFLPA Public Salary Report increased the Packers' cap space by $358,333. $430,000/18 = $23,888. We know Brkic and Mitchell were on the IR for 2 weeks ($47,778). If they got that amount plus 2 more weeks as a settlement, that would be $430,000 - $47,788 minus another $47,788 = $358,334. I think one of them got processed by the NFL/NFLPA.

Otherwise, GB has a bit over $8M in salary cap space. They need perhaps $2M for IR. They probably should keep a couple million to extend Jenkins, assuming that is on the agenda. This isn't absolutely necessary, as they could just tack on years or wait until late December when SB bonus prorations don't count on the current year's cap. Something for rollover and to pay incentives. Yeah, that leaves nothing to spend. Well, Gute can sign guys for the veteran min and release low paid guys to end up with just increases of a few hundred grand per acquisition, like Mercilus, Douglas and Smith, two of which were successful.

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