GREEN BAY – After general manager Brian Gutekunst acknowledged last month there would be “difficult decisions” to get under the 2022 salary cap, the lone highlight of the Green Bay Packers special teams last season became an example.
The Packers are not expected to re-sign free-agent punter Corey Bojorquez, a source confirmed to PackersNews. There was interest in a reunion after Bojorquez flashed his undisputable talent last season, but the Packers simply could not fit the punter into their salary-cap restraints.
The Packers did not release anyone Wednesday, according to the NFL’s transaction wire. That means they did some contract restructuring to get under their 2022 adjusted salary cap of $215.4 million before the 3 pm CDT deadline.
Receiver Randall Cobb’s salary was cut from around $8.5 million down to $3 million, according to a league source. The Packers also saved around $4.2 million by not submitting the contract of newly re-signed free-agent inside linebacker De’Vondre Campbell before the deadline.
Green Bay did not make qualifying offers to safety Henry Black and linebacker Chauncey Rivers, making both free to negotiate with other teams. They submitted tenders for all their other exclusive rights free agents, including inside linebacker Krys Barnes and left tackle Yosh Nijman.
Bojorquez’s expected departure was first reported by PackerCentral.
The Packers traded a sixth-round pick to the Los Angeles Rams before Week 1, receiving Bojorquez and a seventh-round pick in return. Bojorquez, who almost won a position battle in LA against four-time All-Pro Justin Hekker, replaced former fifth-round pick JK Scott.
The change paid significant early dividends. Through 12 games, Bojorquez was having the best punting season in Packers history. In early December, Bojorquez ranked fourth in the NFL with 43.8 net yards per punt. No Packers punter had ever ranked inside the top five.
Bojorquez fell off steeply in the final six games, counting playoffs. He finished 18th in the NFL with 40 net yards per punt, still respectable for a punter kicking in Lambeau Field’s harsh conditions. Then came the NFC divisional round against the San Francisco 49ers, when Bojorquez’s blocked punt late in the fourth quarter tied the score, eventually becoming the signature meltdown in a shocking loss.
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There were multiple destinations for Bojorquez to choose for his next team after losing the competition to Hekker last year. Bojorquez said he ultimately requested the Packers for the challenge of punting inside Lambeau Field. Now, he’ll be searching for a new team for the second straight year.