David Bakhtiari has been a fan favorite in Green Bay since he was drafted in 2013. There’s been very few offensive lineman for the Packers that have captured Packers fans hearts that #69 has. With all of that being said, it is impossible to ignore what has been going on recently. That said the Packers coaching staff has said he participating with the rehab group is all precautionary. If that’s true, the Packers could flip him for an offensive weapon for Aaron Rodgers. That weapon could be all-pro wide receiver Michael Thomas.
David Bakhtiari for Michael Thomas?
Michael Thomas is 29, David Bakhtiari is 30, yet both are still performing at pro bowl levels (when healthy). The Packers could use a bonafide number one wide receiver, the Saints could certainly starting left tackle. Currently the Packers are Allen Lazard listed as their number one wide receiver, and the Saints have Trevor Penning (a rookie) listed as their starting left tackle. However the similarities between these two are uncanny.
Michael Thomas and David Bakhtiari are in similar situations.
In December 2020 David Bakhtiari tore his ACL. That was 18 months ago and the Packers have yet to see him make a “full” recovery it seems. That being said, the Packers think he will be ready for training camp at the end of July. Michael Thomas missed the entire 2021 season due to an ankle injury and the Saints coaching staff thinks he will be ready for training camp in late July.
According go Spotrac David Bakhtiari is under contract until 2024, so is Michael Thomas. David Bakhtiari’s average cap hit between now and 2024 is $24M a year with an average dead cap hit of $22M a year (approximate numbers). Michael Thomas’ cap hit for the same time period is $22M a year with a dead cap hit of $25M a year. While we are not cap experts, those numbers are eerily close and it would figure that both teams could find a way to make it work given the opportunity to swap contracts.
Who would replace each player?
For the Packers, Yosh Nijmam was a diamond found in the rough last years. Nijman, who’d played only 14 career offensive snaps before last year, wound up starting eight regular-season games and playing 590 offensive snaps (52.9%). He blocked some of the NFL’s best edge rushers (Pittsburgh’s T.J. Watt, San Francisco’s Nick Bosa, Cleveland’s Myles Garrett and the Los Angeles Rams’ Von Miller among them) while giving up three sacks and 20 total pressures according to Pro Football Focus. He struggled against Joey Bosa in the Packers’ lone playoff game of the 2021-22 season, but all in all he showed a ton of promise.
On the list of blockbuster trades that I have wrote, this one may top the list. However, if both sides get closer to competing for a championship why not?