LT David Bakhtiari Aiming To Play In 2024

By the time David Bakhtiari was released by the Packers earlier this month, the move did not come as a surprise. The injury-plagued left tackle is on the market, but he hopes to have found a new home by the time the 2024 season kicks off.

Green Bay cut Bakhtiari at the beginning of the legal tampering period, following through on the expectation the team would make a decision concerning his future before the start of free agency later that week. No serious interest is known to have picked up amongst potential suitors as teams turn their attention to healthier options. However, Ian Rapoport of NFL Network reports the 31-year-old is rehabbing with the intention of playing this season.

From 2016-20, Bakhtiari was one of the league’s premiere blindside protectors. He earned three Pro Bowl invitations along with five total All-Pro nods (two first-team, three second-team) during that span. However, things took a turn for the worse with a knee injury which ended his 2020 campaign and limited him to a single contest the following year.

The Colorado alum managed to suit up 11 times in 2022, but this past season he was once again sidelined for all but one game. With the Packers having made draft investments up front to find a replacement for him, Bakhtiari is now faced with the task of finding a new team for the first time in his career. As one of several players known to be close with Aaron Rodgers, he was floated as a potential Jets addition.

New York’s offensive line has seen a number of new arrivals, however. That includes the signing of Tyron Smith on a one-year deal to serve as the team’s left tackle (if he can remain healthy, something which has proven to be an issue for him much like Bakhtiari). The latter was reported to be a candidate to sign with the Jets only on the condition he compete for a first-team role; that would of course especially be the case now that Smith is in the fold.

At this point in the offseason, teams often hold off on deals with low-cost veterans until after the draft has taken place. In Bakhtiari’s case, a market will of course only be generated when he demonstrates a return to health. If that takes place over the coming weeks or months, though, it will be interesting to see if he manages to land a deal ahead of the coming season.

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