The high-priced outside linebacker was placed on injured reserve Saturday because of a knee injury he sustained Nov. 11 against the Dolphins. The Packers replaced him on the roster with rookie defensive end James Looney, a seventh-round pick who had been on their practice squad.
The Packers announced the moves when they landed in Minneapolis ahead of Sunday night’s game at the Vikings.
Perry, who signed a five-year, $60 million contract with the Packers in March 2017, recorded just 1.5 sacks and four quarterback hits this season.
The Packers signed Perry to that deal after he recorded a career-high 11 sacks in 2016 even though he had a history of injuries. The 2012 first-round pick missed 15 of a possible 32 regular-season games in his first two seasons. Green Bay declined to pick up the fifth-year option on his original rookie contract and instead signed him to a one-year, $5 million deal, which is when he had his career-best season.
Last season, he had 7.0 sacks in 12 games. He has played more than 14 games in only one of his seven NFL seasons.
The Packers structured Perry’s most recent contract, which contained an $18.5 million signing bonus, so that they could move on after the 2018 season and actually gain salary-cap space. Perry is due a $4.8 million roster bonus if he’s on the team on the third day of the league year in 2019, so if the Packers cut him before that March date they would wipe that and his $5.2 million base salary off their cap.
They would have to count the remaining prorated portion of his signing bonus against their cap, but could defer some of that by designating him as a June 1 cut. If they cut him without the June 1 designation, they would save $3.6 million off their 2019 cap. If they used that designation, they would save $11.1 million.
In Looney, the Packers (4-5-1) added depth on the defensive line, because they will be without defensive tackle Mike Daniels, who injured his foot against the Seahawks and is out indefinitely.