We have thought for a while that one of the longest roads to recovery in Packer history was nearing its end. David Bakhtiari, Green Bay’s star left tackle, reportedly told ESPN that he expected to play in the team’s Week 1 matchup against the Minnesota Vikings. That didn’t happen. Now just a few days later a troubling video was leaked at practice o f David Bakhtiari walking. Or… attempting to.
David Bakhtiari At Practice:
Not a doctor but the limp on #Packers David Bakhtiari doesn't seem to be getting any better.
— Cody Krupp (@CodyWKrupp) September 14, 2022
To see this significant of a limp is worry-some. Bakhtiari initially tore his ACL in December 2020. He worked back to take snaps in Green Bay’s final regular season game in 2021. Unfortunately, Bakhtiari was unable to play in the 2021 playoffs. After undergoing a third surgery on his knee in the offseason, Bakhtiari did not take team reps in training camp – though he was activated from PUP.
In a long-awaited step towards game readiness, Bakhtiari was able to take snaps in team periods this past week. Bakhtiari’s interview with ESPN took place later the same day, seemingly confirming the positive trajectory of his recovery. Now just a week later and his injury still seems to be effecting him significantly.
What are David Bakhtiari’s Salary Cap Implications?
Bakhtiari’s cap hit for 2022 is just shy of $13 million, a drop of $9.264 million from his previous number after the Packers restructured his contract. That additional money will be spread evenly from 2023 through 2026, with 2025 and 2026 newly added as void years.
Bakhtiari’s cap hits in 2023 and 2024 now become even more enormous, with his deal charging $28.58 million in 2023 and $32.58 million in 2024. Those numbers are massive, even for the best LT in the NFL. They’re down right unacceptable for a player who may not even be on the field. So what’s the deal if Green Bay cuts him? Not good. According to Ken Ingalls they’d save $1.15 million on the cap in 2022… However eat a $23.13 million dead cap hit in 2023. That is NOT good.
Do they have any other options?
Trade or restructure seems to be the only options left. Even then, both seem like a long shot. Green Bay likely wouldn’t get enough in return to justify trading arguably the best LT in the game with his contract and injury situation. They’ve already restructured Bakhtiari’s contract once. They would certainly have to ask him to take a pretty sizable pay cut if they wanted to do it again. To be honest, Green Bay’s best bet is to have David Bakhtiari get healthy and play. That’s easier said than done, however.
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