David Bakhtiari's future with the Green Bay Packers is among the top storylines to follow this offseason.
Bakhtiari only played one game this season. With a significant cap hit in 2024, the Packers have to consider their options with the five-time All-Pro. Can they lower his cap number and still bring him back next season, or will the Packers have to move on from their franchise left tackle?
The emergence of second-year Rasheed Walker may factor into the Packers' decision. Walker overcame a shaky start to the season by dominating in the second half of the year. According to ESPN, the former seventh-round pick tied 11-time Pro Bowler Trent Williams for the best pass block win rate among tackles in the NFL.
If the Packers are confident in Walker starting at left tackle in 2024, it could help them make a decision on Bakhtiari.
Packers insider believes David Bakhtiari won't be back in 2024
The Athletic's Matt Scheidman told 97.3 The Game that he believes there's a strong possibility the Packers will release Bakhtiari this offseason.
"I'd say there's a 99.9% chance they cut him," said Schneidman.
Interestingly, he noted that Green Bay will likely release Bakhtiari and not trade him. Schneidman believes Bakhtiari won't have any trade value if teams know the Packers are moving on anyway.
"I don't think so because teams know you're just going to cut him if you can't trade him," said Schneidman.
And he's right. Why would a team trade for Bakhtiari—and his significant contract—if they know the Packers will release him?
From Green Bay's perspective, it's a financial issue. Per Over The Cap, Bakhtiari's cap hit is a little above $40 million in 2024. The Packers don't want to pay a franchise QB cap hit for a left tackle who isn't guaranteed to play many games.
Green Bay would still pay $19.08 million in dead cap if it releases Bakhtiari, but that's a significant saving of almost $21 million.
When healthy, Bakhtiari can still play at an All-Pro level. But his availability isn't guaranteed, and the Packers can't afford to pay over $40 million on the cap. That's why his departure feels inevitable.