Breaking down the Packers' cap by position

GREEN BAY, Wis. -- Only five teams have more salary-cap space available than the Green Bay Packers, who sit $21,885,142 below their adjusted cap for 2015, according to the latest figures from the NFL Players Association.

But let's break down where the Packers are using their cap space this season, noting that they still have some work to do to re-sign some of their own free agents such as B.J. Raji, Letroy Guion and John Kuhn.

Here's a position-by-position look at the Packers' cap spending, where it ranks among the 32 NFL teams and how it compares to the league average, according to ESPN Stats & Information salary data:


Defensive end

Cap spending: $20,481,637

NFL rank: Eighth

NFL average: $14,102,819

Note: ESPN Stats & Info counted both Julius Peppers ($12 million) and Mike Neal ($4.25 million) even though they are technically outside linebackers in the Packers' base 3-4 scheme.

Defensive tackle

Cap spending: $2,316,120

NFL rank: 32nd

NFL average: $8,844,526

Note: This figure is likely to increase significantly if, or when, the Packers re-sign Raji and Guion. Currently, second-year pro Khyri Thornton ($673,813) leads this position.


Cap spending: $19,313,759

NFL rank: Eighth

NFL average: $16,514,907

Note: Clay Matthews ($12.7 million) has the highest cap number on the entire defense for 2015.


Cap spending: $12,150,969

NFL rank: 18th

NFL average: $14,517,034

Note: Sam Shields is the only player not still on their rookie contract. Shields signed a four-year, $39 million deal last March and will count $9,062,500 in this year's cap.


Cap spending: $9,153,364

NFL rank: 16th

NFL average: $8,726,362

Note: Starters Morgan Burnett ($5,131,250) and Ha Ha Clinton-Dix ($1,895,114) account for 76.8 percent of this position's cap obligation.



Cap spending: $19,600,000

NFL rank: Eighth

NFL average: $13,247,065

Note: Aaron Rodgers' cap number ($18,250,000) increased only slightly over last year and will increase by only one million next year. The biggest jump came from 2013 ($12 million) to 2014 ($17.55 million).

Offensive line

Cap spending: $22,723,411

NFL rank: 17th

NFL average: $22,165,276

Note: This figure won't change much until after 2016, when guards T.J. Lang and Josh Sitton plus left tackle David Bakhtiari all will complete their current contracts.


Cap spending: $12,347,943

NFL rank: 19th

NFL average: $13,894,187

Note: The Packers have two of the top-seven highest paid receivers (Randall Cobb is sixth and Jordy Nelson is seventh) based on average per year yet still remain below the league average in cap costs.

Running backs

Cap spending: $3,197,703

NFL rank: 29th

NFL average: $7,122,637

Note: Backup James Starks ($1,837,500) has a cap charge nearly double that of starter Eddie Lacy ($925,203), who is entering the third year of his four-year rookie deal.

Tight ends

Cap spending: $2,909,004

NFL rank: 28th

NFL average: $7,308,216

Note: The Packers have only three tight ends under contract -- Andrew Quarless ($1.75 million), Richard Rodgers ($649,004) and Justin Perillo ($510,000).


Cap spending: $3,550,000

NFL rank: Seventh

NFL average: $2,162,941

Note: Mason Crosby is entering the final year of his contract.


Cap spending: $1,775,000

NFL rank: 19th

NFL average: $2,037,423

Note: The Packers currently have two punters on the roster after signing Cody Mandell to compete with veteran Tim Masthay.

Long snapper

Cap spending: $976,250

NFL rank: 11th

NFL average: $878,044

Note: Brett Goode is entering the final year of his contract.