Packers ‘Dream Trade Scenario’ Replaces David Bakhtiari With Young Star - Sport News

Packers ‘Dream Trade Scenario’ Replaces David Bakhtiari With Young Star

The Green Bay Packers have almost no choice but to part ways with David Bakhtiari this offseason, though the franchise should have multiple options in its attempt to replace him.

David Bakhtiari

Kristopher Knox of Bleacher Report on Tuesday, February 20, authored a “dream trade scenario” for Green Bay that involves moving up in April’s NFL draft and selecting an elite-level prospect to replace Bakhtiari in the offensive line’s most important slot.

If the Packers ultimately choose to move on from Bakhtiari, trading up for a top tackle prospect like Notre Dame’s Joe Alt or Penn State’s Olumuyiwa Fashanu would make a ton of sense. Of course, moving up from 25th overall to do it won’t be easy. Alt and Fashanu are the fifth- and sixth-ranked prospects on the Bleacher Report Scouting Department’s draft board, respectively.

If there is an early run on quarterbacks, though, Alt and/or Fashanu could fall out of the top 10. It would still leave Green Bay in need of a huge jump, but a trade might be manageable. … This would still be an expensive trade, but Alt and Fashanu are elite tackle prospects who could solidify Green Bay’s left tackle spot for the next decade or more.

Trading Up for Alt or Fashanu Will Cost Packers Major Assets

OT Joe Alt of Notre Dame during game against USC.

In his initial 2024 mock draft, Mel Kiper Jr. of ESPN projected Alt to come off the board at No. 7 to the Tennessee Titans and the New York Jets to select Fashanu with the 10th overall pick. Meanwhile, the Packers don’t select until No. 25, which complicates matters when it comes to moving up.

Kiper agrees that the Packers will target an offensive tackle in the first round. However, his mock has Green Bay selecting Kingsley Suamataia out of BYU as the sixth tackle drafted.

“This is a talented tackle class, and so if Green Bay has a chance to get its blindside protector of the future, it should take it,” Kiper wrote. “The 6-foot-6 Suamataia started 23 games for the Cougars over the past two seasons, 12 at right tackle and 11 at left tackle. I love the potential he showed this past season when he gave up three sacks and only eight total pressures.”

However, in Knox’s “dream scenario,” the Packers find a way to deal up into the top 10 — or just outside of it — and land Alt or Fashanu. One pitch he proposed involved dealing Bakhtiari to the Jets as part of a larger and “expensive” package, which could appeal to quarterback Aaron Rodgers who officiated Bakhtiari’s wedding and has a long personal and professional relationship with the offensive lineman.

If the Jets don’t bite at the chance to exact some revenge for Green Bay getting the better of them in the Rodgers deal, the Packers are looking at surrendering multiple draft assets along with the 25th pick to get into range of Alt or Fashanu.

Packers Can’t Afford to Keep David Bakhtiari Based on Salary Cap, Health Concerns

Bakhtiari Inactive Week 2 Falcons

Bakhtiari has one season left on his four-year, $92 million contract. However, his salary cap number in 2024 is nearly $40 million, while the Packers can save close to $21 million by parting ways with the five-time All-Pro tackle.

There are few scenarios in which any team would keep a player heading into his age-33 season at that price, outside of Bakhtiari literally being one of the best two or three LTs in the league. The unfortunate thing is that he might still be if he could remain healthy. But Bakhtiari’s lingering knee issues have kept him sidelined for all but 13 regular-season games over the last three years and the Packers need cap space to supplement a young and talented team on offense.

Quarterback Jordan Love is in line for a monster new deal, which Michael Ginnitti of Spotrac projected on Thursday will come in at $200 million over four years and include up to $150 million guaranteed. A left tackle is like an insurance policy for the Packers’ new Ferrari that is Love, and now is no time for the team to scrimp.

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