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Preston Smith agrees to adjusted contract for 2024, saving Packers $2.4M in cap space

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By: Evan "Tex" Western

Photo by Cooper Neill/Getty Images

This looks like either a straight pay cut or the conversion of some of Smith’s base salary into incentives.

The Green Bay Packers may be under the NFL’s new salary cap ceiling for the 2024 season, but they need to make some fairly significant room under that cap number if they are to be relevant players in the free agency market this offseason. The team got started on that quest a few days ago when they restructured Rashan Gary’s contract, and on Wednesday they continued with their other starting edge rusher.

Preston Smith has three years remaining on a contract that he signed in 2022 and renegotiated last offseason, and now the team is further adjusting the deal for 2024 to reduce his salary cap hit:

The numbers indicate that this is a straight pay cut in 2024 rather than simply converting a roster bonus to a signing bonus to spread out that bonus money on the cap. Smith was previously due to receive $12.4 million in cash compensation this season, which means that this the $2.4 million in cap savings is just the result of reducing that scheduled cash.

Most likely, Smith’s base salary is dropping by that amount, from $5.7 million to $3.3 million. It is also possible that the deal shifts that money from simple base salary into incentives that Smith could earn back by playing well in 2024.

UPDATE: Tom Silverstein of the Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel reports that Smith’s deal does indeed shift money from his base salary into incentives, and that those incentives actually give him the potential to make more money in 2024 than on his previous deal if he hits all of them.

This adjustment clearly means that Smith will be back with the Packers for a sixth season this fall as he moves from 3-4 outside linebacker to 4-3 defensive end. With Smith and Gary’s contracts now adjusted to reduce their cap hits — a total savings of about $7.2 million for 2024 — the team can shift its focus over to other players whose deals can provide some savings, including Aaron Jones, Jaire Alexander, and Kenny Clark.

Originally posted on ACME Packing Company