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Adrian Amos Has Six Games To Prove Himself

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Adrian Amos was one of the acquisitions in the Green Bay Packers‘ 2019 free-agency spending spree, alongside edge defenders Za’Darius and Preston Smith and offensive lineman Billy Turner. Now, after three years of high-level performance, Amos is in the last year of his original four-year, $36 million contract.

He is also among the Packers who have underperformed in 2022.

Now that his team has six games left in the schedule and no real shot at making the playoffs, Amos has one-third of the season to prove he can be a part of the future in Green Bay.

Performance

Amos arrived in Green Bay from Chicago to be the perfect definition of a safety. He bolstered all of the defense with solid performances. Amos was never a big playmaker, even though he had a few shining moments, but he seldom made mistakes. Between 2020 and 2021, Amos was first among safeties in PFF grade (88.7), second in interceptions (four), and tied for first with 17 forced incompletions.

However, his performance plummeted this year. His PFF grade is 58.4, 30 points lower than in the last two seasons combined. Through the first 10 weeks of the season, Amos’ average passer rating allowed was 129.8, way up from 82.5 in his first three years with the Packers. Amos allowed 22 receptions, the fifth-highest number among safeties in the NFL.

The fact that Amos is 29 years old and the Packers might go through a rebuilding/retooling season are not great indicators that he will sign a new deal to stay in Wisconsin.

Lack of options

Even though the performance may not justify a new deal, the Packers have reasons to consider keeping Amos around. The first is a complete lack of alternatives at the position. The Packers have only Darnell Savage (fully guaranteed fifth-year option), Vernon Scott, and Tariq Carpenter (rookie deals) under contract for 2023. None of them are playing well. Scott is injured. Carpenter is a linebacker/safety hybrid limited to special teams. And Savage has been a disaster this season, so the Packers moved him to nickel corner after Eric Stokes got hurt.

The Packers will probably re-sign one or more of their affordable free agents. Rudy Ford is an obvious priority, considering how well he’s played on defense and special teams. However, the Packers didn’t draft thinking long-term at the position, and now there’s no clear path to replace Amos and Savage.

Money Matters

There is also a financial consideration to support keeping Amos around. In the last two offseasons, the Packers decided to restructure Amos’ deal, adding void years to spread the cap hit without giving him a true extension. Those moves allowed the Packers to be under the cap in 2021 and 2022 but also created a difficult situation moving forward. If Amos doesn’t re-sign with the Packers for 2023, his dead money cap hit will be $7.9 million next season because all the void years accelerate into the 2023 cap.

If the Packers can find common ground with Amos and his agents, it’s possible that they will keep him and make his cap hit even lower than it would be with him gone.

The original contract he signed in 2019 paid him an average of $9 million per year. Considering he is older now and coming from a poor season, but also pointing to the natural cap inflation, the Packers might be able to re-sign him for something like $7 million per season.

If the Packers give Amos a new contract before the void date, his previous dead money doesn’t accelerate into 2023. Therefore, it will still be $2.2 million between 2023 and 2025 and $1.1 million in 2026, plus the value of the new deal.

Amos’ potential contract (based on Rasul Douglas‘ deal and, to keep it simpler, I won’t add workout and roster bonuses):

  • $21 million
  • 3 years (+2 void years)
  • $7 million per year
  • $6 million signing bonus

2023

  • Old contract proration: $2.258 million
  • Base salary: $1.2 million
  • Signing bonus proration: $1.2 million
  • Cap hit: $4.6 million ($3.2 million in cap savings)

2024

  • Old contract proration: $2.2 million
  • Base salary: $5 million
  • Signing bonus proration: $1.2 million
  • Cap hit: $8.4 million

2025

  • Old contract proration: $2.2 million
  • Base salary: $8.8 million
  • Signing bonus proration: $1.2 million
  • Cap hit: $12.2 million

2026/2027 (void years)

  • Old contract proration: $1.17 million
  • Base salary: $0
  • Signing bonus proration: $2.4 million
  • Dead money: $3.5 million

Adrian Amos hasn’t played as well this year as he had in his earlier years with the Packers. But it’s hard to quantify how much is his fault, considering almost everyone in the Packers defense has been underwhelming in 2022. Analyzing the contractual situation and the lack of depth, Amos has a real chance to be in Green Bay beyond 2022 if he can put together a decent final stretch of the season.

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