Green Bay Packers left tackle David Bakhtiari was, at one point, considered by many to be the best left tackle in all the NFL. The Packers certainly thought so when they gave him a $105 million contract extension. But then he tore his ACL and missed a full season. When he was finally able to return to the field, he had to take weeks off and avoid turf fields to make sure it did not get hurt again.
When Bakhtiari played last season, he was as good as ever. Though he is advancing in age, he is still a master of his craft and one of the best left tackles in football. However, that injury history caused PFF to give him a surprising ranking in their Top-32 list.
Green Bay Packers Left Tackle David Bakhtiari Ranked 13th by PFF
As mentioned, there was a time when Bakhtiari was considered one of the best left tackles in the NFL. But that was before his injury. With questionable health and durability, PFF has him ranked 13th:
“Health is the only thing keeping Bakhtiari out of the top 10, and likely the top five, here. When he is healthy, you’ll struggle to find a better pass-protecting left tackle. He allowed just 10 pressures from 339 pass-blocking snaps in 2022.”
As seen above, when he is on the field, Bakhtiari remains one of the best left tackles in the NFL. The problem is staying on the field. He will certainly be under the microscope in this regard in 2023. Next season, his cap hit jumps to over $40 million while his dead cap hit is “just” $19 million. Green Bay can save $21 million by cutting him next season, or they could extend him to spread out the cap hit.
The problem with another extension is that Bakhtiari will be entering his age 33 season in 2024. Green Bay has always believed it is better to move on too early than too late from a player, and they have a plethora of talented offensive lineman on their roster, and a few that they like as left tackles.
2023 is likely Bakhtiari’s last season with the Packers, so let’s hope he can stay on the field and earn himself a big payday from someone else.