Thursday, February 19, 2004
The NFL announced today that the 2004 salary cap is $80.5 million instead of $78.7 million as it was projected at the end of 2003. Any extra wiggle room under the cap is good news for the Packers. According to John Clayton on espn.com, the Packers were under the cap by $1.1 million as of Feb. 12th, so its likely the Packers are $2.9 million under the cap as of today. The bad news is Chad Clifton will have to be tagged as the franchise player by next Tuesday, and according to Len Pasquarelli of espn.com that would add slightly over $7 million to the Packers cap, unless a long term deal can be worked out. It seems highly unlikely that Clifton will have either the franchise or transition tag (its cap cost is slightly over $6 million) placed on him. Clifton is probably the best free agent offensive lineman available, if Orlando Pace and Walter Jones for the umpteenth years in a row are given the franchise tags by St. Louis and Seattle respectively, and still likely to command a $10 million signing bonus. It seems unlikely that the Packers want to give that amount of money to arguably their 5th best offensive lineman.