Sports. Honestly. Since 2011

Two-Time All-Pro Tackle Expected to Be Released, Should Have FA Suitors

According to reports out of Green Bay, the Packers are expected to release longtime starting left tackle David Bakhtiari.
Top Free Agents

According to a recent article by Matt Schneidman of The Athletic, the Green Bay Packers could release former star offensive tackle David Bakhtiari in the coming weeks. At his best, Bakhtiari was one of the best offensive linemen in the game, routinely protecting superstar quarterback Aaron Rodgers while earning First-Team All-Pro honors twice and earning a spot on four Pro Bowl rosters. All in all, not bad for a fourth-round pick.

Unfortunately, time comes for us all, and this release stems primarily from the injury bug continually biting David Bakhtiari. Now, important to note that Schneidman’s article is not a report – the Packers have reportedly not definitively made up their minds on what they’ll do with their star tackle. However, this seems like an easy decision. The Colorado product has appeared in just 12 games over the last three seasons and has undergone five surgeries on the same knee ever since he suffered his original ailment back in December of 2020. At the end of the day, the best ability is availability, and Bakhtiari just hasn’t been able to stay on the field.

Another factor driving the David Bakhtiari release is his contract. The offensive tackle currently carries a ridiculous $40 million cap hit, and Green Bay can save $21 million by parting ways with the veteran. Bakhtiairi is one of the better players in the storied history of the Green Bay Packers, but the NFL is a business.

Green Bay Packers Expected To Release David Bakhtiari, New Teams Possibly Interested

Of course, just because the Packers are going to release David Bakhtiari doesn’t mean his career is over. While he will take a sizable pay cut with a new organization, there should be interested suitors willing to roll the dice on a low-risk, high-reward starter at one of the game’s most important positions.

The fact of the matter is that there aren’t enough good left tackles to go around. While nobody will sign David Bakhtiari to be their unquestioned starter, they could bring him in to compete for a job once the Packers officially release him. In a worst-case scenario, he gets hurt again and spends the year on the injured reserve. However, if he finally stays healthy, he could be one of the most cost-effective starters in the league.

Possible Team Fits

New York Jets

Being friends with Aaron Rodgers is one of the most profitable gigs in sports. Whether it’s Allen Lazard, Randall Cobb, or Marcedes Lewis, the four-time MVP likes to be surrounded by players he trusts. Following his release, David Bakhtiari could be the next player to hop on the Packers-Jets pipeline. While the Rodgers connection is the biggest selling point for this fit, there is no denying that this team needs help at offensive tackle. If Bakhtiari can stay on his feet, he can help Rodgers survive a full 17-game season behind this decrepit offensive line.

Kansas City Chiefs

The Kansas City Chiefs have the best interior offensive line in football. Their tackle situation, however, isn’t nearly as good. Jawaan Taylor was remarkably pedestrian during his first season with the Chiefs, and Donovan Smith did nothing to dissuade the notion that he owed his career renaissance to Tom Brady’s ridiculous ability to sense pressure. David Bakhtiari is anything but a sure thing, but the Chiefs could make an incentive-laden contract offer after the Packers release him. By including Not Likely To Be Earned incentives (NLTBE), the Chiefs can effectively pay him the league minimum now and have any incentive he reaches count against the 2025 salary cap.

Tennessee Titans

The Tennessee Titans have the worst offensive line in football, and they’ll need to do something if they want to get a good glimpse at what they have in Will Levis. David Bakhtiari should not be Tennessee’s lone fix to the offensive line woes, but they can use a very, very small portion of their $73.9 million in cap to sign him after the release. Even playing on one leg, he might be better than what the Titans currently have.

New Orleans Saints

The New Orleans Saints will have Derek Carr for at least one more season so, for better or worse, they need to build around his abilities. Carr is a fine quarterback when he has a strong pocket, but he collapses under pressure. With Trevor Penning underwhelming and Ryan Ramczyk battling a knee injury, somebody needs to play tackle for this team. That somebody could be David Bakhtiari, and his presumed low cost after release makes him a perfect fit for a cash-strapped Saints team.

Carolina Panthers

Ikem Ekwonu isn’t the problem at left tackle, but he might not be the solution. The former first-round pick finished the year ranked 40th out of 81 eligible tackles in PFF grade, and there is a case to be made that he’d be a better fit at guard. The Panthers desperately need to improve their interior offensive line, and a healthy version of David Bakhtiari could easily slide in at tackle after his release. Obviously, health is a major issue, but he could be a cheap starter whose contract allows the Panthers to invest heavily at wide receiver.

Main Photo: Mark Hoffman – USA Today Sports


More Posts

Send Us A Message