The Packers converted David Bakhtiari’s $11MM+ roster bonus into a signing bonus, as Ian Rapoport of NFL.com tweets. With a little help from the left tackle, the Packers will save $8.3MM against this year’s salary cap.
The adjustment won’t impact Bakhtiari’s income. Instead, his payout will be dispersed over the length of the contract, which runs through 2024. With that extra cash, the Packers will have better odds of retaining their own free agents, including running back Aaron Jones and center Corey Linsley.
Pro Football Focus ranked Bakhtiari as the league’s No. 2 tackle in 2020 before his ACL tear in December. His protection helped Aaron Rodgers secure the MVP award and the top seed in the NFC. Throughout his career, the 2013 fourth-round pick has been a rock for Green Bay, starting in all 118 of his games.
Between Bakhtiari, Linsley (PFF’s No. 1 center in 2020), and Pro Bowl guard Elgton Jenkins, the Packers have one of the stronger front fives in the NFL. The Packers now have the capital to keep the band together, though some of their available cash could go towards a Rodgers extension.
Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.