The Packers need to have a David Bakhtiari backup plan at the ready

Once regarded as arguably the best tackle in football, the Green Bay Packers need to be prepared to be without David Bakhtiari moving forward.

Green Bay Packers v Chicago Bears
Green Bay Packers v Chicago Bears / Todd Rosenberg/GettyImages

Since being named an All-Pro four seasons ago, Green Bay Packers tackle David Bakhtiari has appeared in 25 of 67 regular season games. Bakhtiari suffered a torn ACL in 2020 and has been unable to stay on the field since, which has raised questions about his future in Green Bay.

Shortly before suffering the serious knee injury, the Packers made Bakhtiari the highest-paid tackle in the NFL by signing him to a four-year contract worth up to $105.5 million. Fast forward to the 2024 offseason, Bakhtiari is in the final year of his contract and the Packers are faced with deciding whether or not to retain him.

Will David Bakhtiari be a Green Bay Packer in 2024?

The Packers can save roughly half of Bakhtiari’s $40 million cap hit if they cut or trade him, as mentioned by ProFootballTalk's Michael David Smith. Assuming no team will be willing to give up assets for a player who is oft-injured with a bloated salary, the former is the more likely option of the two.

However, Packers general manager Brian Gutekunst hasn’t shut the door on Bakhtiari returning to the team in 2024.

“We’re still at the very beginning stages of looking at how we’re going to move forward with all of that,” Gutekunst said, h/t ProFootballTalk. “Once we’re down the road and see where he’s at health wise, we’ll make those decisions,” he added.

While Gutekunst is leaving the door open for the two-time All-Pro to make another miraculous comeback after undergoing a season-ending fifth procedure on his aforementioned left knee in October of 2023, it is tough to justify hanging onto the 32-year-old tackle.

Not to mention, the Packers need to work out a long-term contract extension with quarterback Jordan Love, which will cost a pretty penny. So, if they can cut costs elsewhere in the form of Bakhtiari, it could be in their best interest to do so.

However, the Packers need to have a backup plan in case Bakhtiari’s knee doesn’t respond well to his most recent procedure.

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