Due a big salary cap hit in 2023, David Bakhtiari’s future with the Green Bay Packers remains uncertain.
According to Spotrac, Bakhtiari’s cap hit rises to $28.79 million in 2023. For a team limited in cap space, that’s a lot for the Packers to pay.
Bakhtiari missed six games this season and only played once in 2021, coming off a significant knee injury.
However, the Packers should stick with their left tackle in 2023.
When Bakhtiari played this season, it was like he never missed any time. It’s quite incredible how he immediately got back to his All-Pro best, shutting down pass rushers on the left side of Green Bay’s offensive line.
According to ESPN, Bakhtiari tied for the league lead for pass block win rate among tackles.
Bakhtiari still has so much to offer, regardless of who’s playing quarterback for the Packers.
And whether Bakhtiari plays in Green Bay next season or not, the team will have to take on a significant cap hit.
According to Over The Cap, if the Packers were to cut Bakhtiari before June 1, they would only save $5.72 million and pay $23.13 million in dead cap.
They could create more cap space in the short term by making the move post-June 1, but that would require reducing the team’s 2024 cap. In that scenario, the Packers would pay $11.57 million in 2023 but the same amount again in 2024.
Another option is to restructure Bakhtiari’s deal. Again, though, that would reduce the 2023 cap hit but push money into future years.
Bakhtiari is still one of the best left tackles in the NFL. The Packers should keep him on the roster and take on the cap hit.
They can then make a decision a year from now when it would be far easier to get out of the contract.
In the meantime, they would still have a future Hall-of-Famer protecting their quarterback.