Packers willing to pay millions to ensure offseason program succeeds

GREEN BAY, Wis. -- Coach Mike McCarthy believes his offseason program is critical to his team’s success, and the Green Bay Packers have long been willing to pay to ensure it’s well attended.

So it should come as no surprise that the Packers will shell out big money in workout bonuses again this year.

The total for 2017 could reach $4,712,500 for the 20 players who have financial incentive to attend the workouts, which begin officially on Tuesday in Green Bay. That’s slightly lower than last year’s total in workout bonuses. Three years ago, no team paid more in offseason workout money than the Packers.

The bonuses are based on players attending a certain percentage -- usually at least 80 percent -- of the offseason workout days between now and the June 13-15 minicamp. The workout bonuses are factored into the salary cap, but if a player does not fulfill the requirements for his bonus, the team will receive future cap credit.

This week marks the first time the team has been together since the day after the NFC Championship Game loss at Atlanta -- a game that ended the Packers’ eight-game winning streak that turned their season around.

“You always try to carry over that late success into your offseason program,” McCarthy said earlier this offseason. “That’s a big part of motivation, energy and this is what it looks like. Whether you like or not, even with someone like Aaron Rodgers, when he gets here in April there’s going to be 50-plus things that are going to be changed or adjusted from last year, and we’ll work through that and get that cleaned up. You always do that.

“I go back to my first year. We were 1-4, 4-8 and we finished 8-8 winning those last four and we just sold that like crazy and hammered that home in the offseason program because that’s the biggest transition you go through your first year going into the second year. Now everybody has an understanding of what’s expected and now you’ve got to make it work and we obviously went on to the NFC Championship game the second year. At some level you try to carry that each year.”

Here’s a breakdown of the workout bonuses for this offseason: