5 free agents Green Bay Packers must re-sign in 2021

Green Bay Packers, Kenny Clark and Preston Smith (Photo by Elsa/Getty Images)
Green Bay Packers, Kenny Clark and Preston Smith (Photo by Elsa/Getty Images) /
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Green Bay Packers, David Bakhtiari
Green Bay Packers, David Bakhtiari (Photo by Rey Del Rio/Getty Images) /

1. David Bakhtiari – LT

Without David Bakhtiari, the Packers offensive line takes a huge step back. Bakhtiari is the best left tackle in the league. He’s a four-time All-Pro and, as Lombardi Ave’s Jesse Fry wrote this week, Bakhtiari is on track to make the Hall of Fame one day. That’s how dominant he’s been on the left side of the Packers’ offensive line since entering the league in 2013.

And don’t just take our word for it. Since the start of 2015, Bakhtiari has Pro Football Focus’ highest pass-blocking grade.

The Packers are also in no position to replace him. They opted against drafting one of the top tackles in the early rounds this offseason, which could’ve been a sign they were preparing for his potential departure had they done so.

If Bakhtiari signs elsewhere next spring, who will start at left tackle in Week 1 of the 2021 season? That player almost certainly isn’t currently on the roster. They’d either need to turn to free agency — no free agent would be better than Bakhtiari — or hope a rookie can start right away. That’s a big ask.

Not only is Bakhtiari the NFL’s best pass-protector, but he’s also irreplaceable. The championship window is open and the Packers need to ensure they don’t lose their superstar left tackle in 2021.