The Packers made a major move before their Week 10 date with the Jaguars. Green Bay locked up left tackle David Bakhtiari with a four-year extension, a source told Mike Florio of ProFootballTalk.com (Twitter link). He had previously been set to become an unrestricted free agent at the end of the season.
The deal is worth up to $105.5MM in new money, Ian Rapoport of NFL Network tweets. The base value is $23MM per year, Rapoport adds, which makes him the new highest-paid offensive lineman in NFL history. Widely considered one of the best tackles in the league, Bakhtiari made his return on Sunday from a chest injury that cost him a few games. This is certainly a nice welcome-back gift.
A fourth-round pick back in 2013, he turned into a steal for Green Bay. The Colorado product became a full-time starter as a rookie, and he’s been protecting Aaron Rodgers‘ blindside ever since. He’s been pretty durable, starting all 16 games in five of his seven full seasons and never missing more than four in one year.
An All-Pro in each of the past four seasons, Bakhtiari only turned 29 in September. As such, he should still be in the prime of his career when this new pact expires. Laremy Tunsil became the highest-paid offensive lineman and first to eclipse $20MM annually back in March, and now Bakhtiari has blown past those numbers.
He’s pretty much in quarterback-money territory now. Rapoport later posted a follow-up tweet saying he’ll get a whopping $30MM signing bonus, with $62.8MM coming his way before the end of the 2022 campaign. Since 2017 Bakhtiari is first in the league in pass block win rate among tackles, according to a tweet from Seth Walder of ESPN.com.
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