Packers Rumors: David Bakhtiari speaks honestly about NFL future
The Packers are expected to be without David Bakhtiari for the remainder of the 2023 season as he continues to deal with the fallout of a 2020 ACL tear. A three-time Pro Bowl offensive tackle who has spent his entire 11-year career with the Packers, Bakhtiari's future is more uncertain than ever.
Most complicated is the financial picture, as Bakhtiari is set to wield a $40.4 million cap hit next season — the largest for any non-QB in the NFL. If the Packers waive him, the consequence is over $19 million in dead money. There isn't a great way for Green Bay to feel positive about the situation, even if there's optimism about Bakhtiari finally working his way back to full health in 2024. There's no guarantee he's still the all-world talent of yesteryear.
Bakhtiari spoke candidly about his future with Packers insider Bill Huber.
Bakhtiari claims to have "a really good relationship" with Packers GM Brian Gutekunst, but the NFL is a business. A good GM will cut ties with beloved players and even close friends to move a team in the right direction. The 32-year-old Bakhtiari wants to play again in Green Bay, but he's not comfortable providing any assurances. He, like the rest of us, doesn't know what the future holds.
The last few years have been a constant struggle for Bakhtiari, who has undergone multiple knee surgeries and endured countless hours of rehab, only to get hit with setback after setback after setback. He deserves another chance to prove his mettle in the NFL and the Packers would be justified to believe in a franchise legend, but there's a chance Bakhtiari gets shipped off elsewhere.
Former Packer Kurt Benkert has a new home in mind.
Bakhtiari spent his summer talking about Aaron Rodgers a lot and the Jets' new QB even engaged in some quiet recruiting, so it's not such a far-fetched idea. If the Packers are ready to jump ship on the Bakhtiari experience, why not let him reunite with his old running mate in New York for a simultaneous redemption tour?