GREEN BAY, Wis. – The Green Bay Packers signed linebacker Christian Kirksey and offensive tackle Rick Wagner to two-year contracts.
According to Aaron Wilson of the Houston Chronicle, Kirksey’s deal is worth $13 million and includes $4 million guaranteed. Among the highlights:
2020: $1.75 million base salary and $1 million in per-game roster bonuses – a key given his injury history the past two seasons.
2021: $3 million base salary, $1.5 million roster bonus if on the roster on the third day of the 2021 league-year and $1.25 million in per-game roster bonuses. If he makes the Pro Bowl in 2020, his base salary for 2021 would rise to $3.25 million. If he makes the Pro Bowl in 2021, he would receive an additional $1.75 million.
That adds up to cap charges of $4.125 million in 2020 and $8 million in 2021.
With Cleveland in 2016 and 2017, Kirksey was one of more productive linebackers in the NFL, with 148 tackles, 2.5 sacks and 11 tackles for losses in 2016 and 138 tackles, 3.5 sacks, six tackles for losses and two forced fumbles in 2017. However, injuries have derailed his career. In 2018, he played in only seven games due to shoulder, ankle and hamstring injuries. He played in only two games in 2019 following a torn pectoral tendon that required surgery. He was released by the Browns last week.
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Also according to Wilson, Wagner’s deal is worth $11 million and includes a $3.5 million signing bonus. The highlights:
2020: $2.25 million base salary and $750,000 in weekly roster bonuses, which is a way for the team to protect itself from injury.
2021: $2.25 million base salary, $1 million roster bonus if on the roster on the third day of the 2021 league-year and another $750,000 in weekly roster bonuses. If he hits a certain amount of playing time, his base salary would increase to $5 million.
He will have cap charges of about $4.81 million in 2020 and $6.0 million in 2021.
Wagner signed a five-year, $47.5 million contract with Detroit in 2017 but was released last week. According to STATS, he allowed six sacks and was penalized three times (two for holding) in 2017, 6.5 sacks and four penalties (two for holding) in 2018 and 3.5 sacks and three penalties (three for holding) in 2019.
The Packers started the day with approximately $18.63 million of cap space, according to Over The Cap. The NFLPA has not provided the official number.
“I think when you look at free agency in the totality, we’re not going to be able to do what we did in unrestricted free agency like we did last year,” general manager Brian Gutekunst said. “I think that’s going to be very difficult just with the restraints that we have. But I think when you look at free agency overall, with salary-cap casualties and different kinds of things, I think we’ll be able to add some players to our roster that can help us. But we’re certainly not in the position we were in last year with the resources. We’re going to have to do some different things this year.”