The Green Bay Packers are in the midst of a franchise-altering off-season. The Packers and Jets finalized their trade to send Aaron Rodgers to New York just a few days before the start of the 2023 NFL Draft. That also means the Jordan Love era is fully underway in Green Bay. Both quarterbacks showed up for voluntary off-season workouts and both seem to be excited about their opportunities in 2023. As it turns out, the Green Bay Packers and New York Jets may not be done yet.
The Green Bay Packers And New York Jets Could Agree To A Trade Involving David Bakhtiari
According to the Acme Packing Company:
The 2023 NFL Draft came and went without the Green Bay Packers selecting a single offensive lineman, a true rarity for the franchise. However, once the first couple of rounds went by, it made perfect sense for Green Bay to not target an offensive lineman. The team currently has 11 offensive linemen on the roster from last season.
Roster spots for this unit are scarce and it’s going to be a battle just to see who can take those last few spots. If this is the case, then why was there so much discussion around Green Bay taking an offensive tackle early in the draft?
The reason is that David Bakhtiari’s contract situation will soon become unpalatable for the Packers. Due to the restructures done on his 2020 extension over the past few years, his cap hit in 2024 will be just over $40.5 million. The only way Green Bay can bring that down is via an extension, but Green Bay has generally been reticent to give extensions to players heading into their mid-thirties, and I imagine that reticence will only be increased for a player whose knee has been a major problem for the past two seasons.
If they trade Bakhtiari after June 1st but prior to the regular season starting, they would clear $2.253 million in cap space (this is Bakhtiari’s base salary plus his per-game roster bonus) for the 2023 season. Each subsequent week he is not traded, the Packers ‘saved’ money would decline by a little over $100k.
Because most of Bakhtiari’s money this year is tied up from bonuses, there is very little difference from a financial perspective between trading him prior to camp and trading him at the deadline. Looking at the 2024 cap sheet, there is no difference between cutting Bakhtiari after the season and trading him during this season. In either case, Bakhtiari’s dead cap hit for 2024 would be $19.083 million.
The market for an All-Pro potential at the premium position of offensive tackle never goes away in the NFL. The Jets have a particular need there after swapping first-round selections with the Packers in this year’s draft. The move dropped New York from pick No. 13 to No. 15, allowing the Pittsburgh Steelers to swoop in and steal tackle Broderick Jones out from under the Jets with the 14th pick via a trade with the New England Patriots. If the Green Bay Packers have long-term faith in Yosh Nijman, getting a valuable draft pick (like a second round pick) for someone who will likely be gone after the 2023 season makes too much sense.
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The Jets are becoming the AFC East version of a lackluster Packer team that couldn’t wait to unload Rodgers. Wait until they can’t win games, Aaron will blame the coach and then he will play a disappearing act and Joe Douglas will get messages like this: “The subscriber you are trying to reach is outside the calling zone and is unavailable, please try your call again later”.
Now we’ll see if Lefleue can really coach