It appears the Green Bay Packers have now addressed two of the three major salary-cap issues they faced when the offseason began.
Last month, they released defensive back Charles Woodson rather than absorb his $10 million cap figure. On Friday, according to Rob Demovsky of the Green Bay Press-Gazette and others, the Packers restructured the contract of linebacker A.J. Hawk. The last remaining decision lies with tight end Jermichael Finley, who is due a roster bonus of about $3 million at the end of this month and is currently counting $8.75 million against the cap.
We don't know the details of Hawk's new contract, but there is a pretty good chance it included a pay cut to help reduce a 2013 cap number that had been $7.05 million. Hawk had been scheduled to earn $5.45 million in cash this season, but it's only fair to point out that he earned $15.9 million over the first two years of a contract he signed just before the 2011 lockout began.
Some of us wondered if the Packers would release Hawk outright, considering that both Desmond Bishop and D.J. Smith are expected to be back in 2013 after suffering season-ending injuries last season. But assuming full recovery from two players is at least a calculated risk, making Hawk a more than reasonable insurance policy. When we get the final numbers in a few days, we'll know how solidly he is in the Packers' 2013 plans.