1. Surprise cuts for the Green Bay Packers – LT David Bakhtiari
This cut would be the most infurating for Rodgers since Bakhtiari has done a good job protecting his blindside since he was drafted in 2013. The five-time All-Pro was saddled with a knee injury in 2021, playing just 27 snaps over the course of the season.
Bakhtiari indicated that there is no long-term concern over the state of his knee but the Packers have to be aware of the fact that he essentially missed a full season at the age of 30. The timing is also unfortunate since Bakhtiari’s four-year, $92 million extension kicked in during the 2020 season, meaning there are still two years left for him with high salary cap figures.
Green Bay can’t afford to cut Bakhtiari prior to June 1 since it would add $4.1 million to their salary cap deficit while creating a whopping $26.3 million in dead money. That figure does change significantly after June 1 as the Packers could save nearly $14 million by cutting Bakhtiari, which would primarily happen if they either have moved on from Rodgers and enter a rebuild or find reason to believe that Bakhtiari’s knee injury is a long-term problem.
The most likely path forward with Bakhtiari is a restructured contract that could free up over $8 million in salary cap space. Bakhtiari will likely play ball if Rodgers is willing to return since the Packers know that keeping their star quarterback happy is their best chance at winning another Super Bowl in the near future.