Packers $92 Million All-Pro Reveals He’s Nearing Retirement

Getty Green Bay Packers All-Pro left tackle has revealed that he's nearing the end of his NFL career.

The Green Bay Packers have had one of the more stable offensive line situations in the NFL over the last decade, but the key anchor to that unit has revealed that he’s nearing the end of his career.

Five-time All-Pro left tackle David Bakhtiari has had a roller coaster of a past few seasons. After signing a record-breaking $92 million extension in November of 2020, he suffered a torn ACL less than two months later just before the start of the team’s playoff run.

That injury cost Bakhtiari essentially the entire 2021 season, and a lingering issue in 2022. The 31-year-old opened up about the mental anguish that came with the injury, along with thoughts  about his future, during an appearance on Taylor Lewan and Will Compton’s podcast Bussin’ With The Boys.

“What f—–g sucks more is I’m being stripped of something that I love doing, especially the way I like doing it,” Bakhtiari said on the podcast. “So you talk about my career…I might be on the teens of whatever hole I’m on on my back nine [of my career]…I’m going to enjoy it, whether I’m on this team or I get traded.”

Given his injury history and struggles to consistently stay on the field this past season, it’s understandable that Bakhtiari is getting closer to thinking about hanging up his cleats.

The Packers Could Draft Bakhtiari’s Successor

With the 15th overall pick in the 2023 NFL Draft, the Packers could be in a legitimate position to take a swing on a long-term answer at offensive tackle. Right tackle is the bigger immediate need, but if the Packers took one in the first round, they could eventually become the successor to Bakhtiari on the left side.

The Packers and general manager Brian Gutekunst are already doing their homework on the tackles in this year’s draft. The team has already scheduled a top-30 visit with former Tennessee Volunteers right tackle Darnell Wright, along with another one with his teammate in quarterback Hendon Hooker.

Wright finished his final year in college as the full-time right tackle for the Volunteers, earning first-team All-SEC honors in the process. Pro Football Focus has Wright as their 20th-ranked prospect overall on their latest big board, crediting him with zero sacks and only eight pressures allowed this past season.

Other first-round tackles in this class include Ohio State’s Paris Johnson Jr. and Georgia’s Broderick Jones. If four or five quarterbacks go in the top 10 in this year’s draft, there’s a good chance that one of these three tackles will be available when the Packers are on the clock. Given Bakhtiari’s comments on his future, the team could be interested in finding a long-term answer at tackle.

Latest on Aaron Rodgers

While Bakhtiari is likely staying in Green Bay for at least one more year, his close friend in Aaron Rodgers will likely be shipped off in the coming weeks.

Packers president Mark Murphy didn’t reveal much when asked about Rodgers before the team’s annual bus tour around Wisconsin. However, his comments did imply that Jordan Love will be the starter in 2023, comparing the situation to Brett Favre’s 15 years ago.

The firm deadline for a trade is the second day of the 2023 NFL Draft on April 28 according to Peter King with NBC Sports. ESPN’s Jeremy Fowler also believes that a deal will get done at the time of this year’s draft.

With the draft just a few weeks away, Packers and Jets fans are anxiously waiting for an end to the Rodgers trade saga.

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