The Green Bay Packers have a variety of tough decisions to make this offseason. Of course, this is nothing new and they pale in comparison to the situation they found themselves in last offseason. Indeed, the decision to move on from and trade four-time MVP and future Hall of Famer Aaron Rodgers was one that will be considered one of the most significant moves in franchise history.
Fortunately for the Packers, it worked out. Jordan Love had the best season for a first-year starting quarterback in franchise history while the Packers received significant draft compensation for Rodgers. Furthermore, Rodgers’ 2023 season lasted just four offensive snaps due to a torn Achilles tendon.
Now that the 2023 season is over, there are decisions that need to be made regarding a few noteworthy players on their roster. Perhaps the most glaring of these is what will the Packers do with three-time Pro Bowl left tackle David Bakhtiari.
In short, Bakhtiari’s cap hit will be nearly $40 million in 2024 and the Packers can save $21 million by cutting him. There is also the chance that Green Bay takes a chance on him playing after knee injuries have limited Bakhtiari to just 13 games over the past three seasons. Of course, this would almost have to be done on a restructured contract.
The Green Bay Packers Are Likely to Cut or Trade David Bahktiari
As great as Bakhtiari is when he is healthy, the Packers just cannot bank on him being healthy ever again. With a $40 million price in 2024, the last year of his contract, the Packers will probably look to do just about anything they can to avoid that price.
Both a trade and cutting Bakhtiari would have the same result on the Packers’ 2024 salary cap. They would shed over $21 million and carry a dead cap hit of just over $19 million. The benefit of a trade, obviously, is that Green Bay would be able to get some kind of draft compensation in return.
That is, if there is any team interested in trading for him. As mentioned, Bakhtiari has played in just 13 games over the past three seasons. There are not many, if any, teams that would give up any noteworthy draft picks for a player with his injury history.
Unless, as the staff at Bleacher Report suggests, the Packers want to overpay for a premium pick.
Trade Proposal Sees the Green Bay Packers Send David Bakhtiari and Picks to the New York Jets to Reunite with Aaron Rodgers
According to an article that lays out each NFL team’s needs this offseason, the Bleacher Report staff believes that Brian Gutekunst, who is notoriously miserly when it comes to draft picks, would actually consider the following trade proposal:
“Hypothetical Trade We’d Love to See: 2024 first-round pick (24th overall), 2024 second-round pick, 2024 third-round pick, 2025 second-round pick, OT David Bakhtiari for Jets’ 2024 first-round pick (10th overall)
“How much fun would it be to see the Packers trade the Jets’ 2024 second-round pick back to them? That alone wouldn’t push Green Bay into the top 10, but additional picks plus Rodgers’ former favorite tackle might get it done.”
That would be four draft picks and Bakhtiari for the number-10 overall pick in this year’s draft. They defend the proposal by arguing that Green Bay could use that high first round pick to take a stud left tackle to protect Love for the foreseeable future.
But there’s a problem with this proposal: Gutekunst would never do it.
Why the Green Bay Packers Would Never Accept This Trade Proposal
First of all, Gutekunst is not going to give up two of his top 100 picks. While the Packers have rebuilt their team in just one season, they are still in the midst of a massive youth movement. They need as many young and talented players as they can get.
Second of all, Gutekunst does not draft offensive players in the first round. Even if he did net a top-10 pick, history says that the Packers’ general manager is more likely to draft a defensive player instead of an offensive tackle. The only offensive player he ever drafted in the first round was Love in 2020.
Third, the tackle class this year is exceptionally deep. Green Bay can find one in the middle rounds that can end up playing on a high level for years (example: Bakhtiari himself was a fourth round pick).
Finally, the tackle combination of Zach Tom (right tackle) and Rasheed Walker (left tackle) played extremely well in 2023. While offensive line depth is certainly a need for Green Bay going into the draft, they do not have a need for a starter at either tackle position.
Could Bakhtiari end up in New York? If he is cut or traded, that will almost certainly be his destination. However, the Packers are not throwing in three picks to go with him.