The Green Bay Packers are most definitely at an inflection point entering the 2024 offseason. This is one of the youngest rosters in the NFL with Jordan Love at the helm and already mostly establishing himself as the guy in just his first year as the starter. At the same time, there are some older veterans on the roster who have been longtime staples at Lambeau... but it might also be time to cut them loose.
Chief among these veteran Packers is left tackle David Bakhtiari. When healthy, there's not denying his All-Pro caliber ability. The staying healthy part, unfortunately, has been a severe issue of late. Bakhtiari has missed all but one game in two of the last three seasons, playing only 13 of a 51 total possible games over that span as well.
For as great as Bakhtiari has been for Green Bay, that's simply not a viable player moving forward, especially when he has the largest cap hit on the roster. But the Packers can save north of $20 million by releasing or trading him this offseason, albeit with a $19+ million dead cap hit. That seems to be the direction the team is heading, however.
Should that transpire, though, that leaves the Packers looking for a replacement, especially with Yosh Nijman set to hit free agency. Green Bay will almost surely draft an offensive tackle to try and find a long-term future replacement, but they could also hit the free-agent market in their own right to replace Bakhtiari, specifically if they target one of these four players.
Green Bay Packers: 4 David Bakhtiari replacements to target in free agency
4. Jonah Williams (Cincinnati Bengals)
One of the biggest misfires in recent memory, at least by my estimation, has been how the Cincinnati Bengals have handled offensive tackle Jonah Williams since he was the No. 11 overall pick in the 2019 draft by Cincinnati.
Williams played immediately for the Bengals at left tackle and stepped up in a big way for a team that had a real need on the ends of the offensive line. He was one of the top-third tackles in the league playing on the left side over his first two seasons. Then came the 2022 season and things started to get messy. He struggled quite a bit still on the left side, which led to Williams then moving to the right side to make way for Orlando Brown Jr., where his struggles continued.
When you get down to it, though, Williams was a consensus first-round pick for a reason and, more importantly, we've seen him have success at left tackle in the NFL within the last four years. That's not nothing and it's at least somewhat likely of a proposition that a change of scenery -- especially joining someone like the Packers offensive staff -- could rejuvenate his career.
The ideal scenario would be signing Williams to something like a one-year prove-it deal while also drafting something like a Day 2 offensive tackle. If he hits, the Packers can get past the massive dead money from Bakhtiari's contract and ink Williams as the long-term solution. If not, they could look to their younger option. Even still, they should consider the former Bengals tackle as a viable option to sign.