1. David Bakhtiari
Have a quarterback, protect the quarterback and get after the quarterback is usually the philosophy of building a winning football team.
The Packers have a two-time MVP with a renewed passion playing quarterback. The team spent big last offseason in both draft capital and free agency dollars to make sure they can get after the quarterback. Now they need to ensure their quarterback’s biggest protector is taken care of.
David Bakhtiari needs to be the next player signed. There is no ready-made replacement on the roster and going into the 2021 offseason expecting to find one in the draft or free agency would be a fool’s errand.
Bakhtiari is entering his age 29 season and has had no major injuries. His health doesn’t at all seem to be a concern and his play just keeps getting better. Tackles are not like running backs whose play drops off drastically after they turn the big 3-0. There is plenty of precedent of players playing into the mid-30s with great success. So, age shouldn’t be a concern either.
The only real concern the team may have is the financial commitment it will take to pay for a premium player at a premium position with cap uncertainty.
Bakhtiari was on a very team-friendly contract earning roughly $10.5 million a year. Since then, Laremy Tunsil, Anthony Castonzo, and Taylor Lewan have gone on to reset the market making the average for a good left tackle being around $16-$18 million range.
If the cap rises, those numbers won’t be hard to meet. If the cap falls, there will be a long list of players the Packers will need to send packing in order to meet that demand.
Regardless, keeping Aaron Rodgers upright and healthy should be top of the Packers list, so getting Bakhtiari signed needs to happen.