After a couple of viral jabs back and forth between close friends Aaron Rodgers and David Bakhtiari on social media (more on that below), many began to hypothesize the potential of another 2023 trade between the New York Jets and Green Bay Packers.
Packers general manager Brian Gutekunst totally shot down this rumor on August 18, however, telling reporters that GB will not be trading Bakhtiari according to The 33rd Team NFL insider Ari Meirov. “We’re not going to trade David, so let’s get that out of the way,” Gutekunst stated candidly. “It’s not going to happen.”
“I don’t know if he’s [tagging] David Bakhtiari’s name on his butt to send some kind of subliminal message or just have fun with his pal — I don’t know the meaning of that,” Schefter began, continuing: “I had not heard that the Jets were trying to pry loose David Bakhtiari, nor have I heard that Green Bay is interested in moving on from him.”
Schefter did add that this is “the best [Bakhtiari has] felt in a long time,” which he called a “big-time reinforcement” for Packers quarterback Jordan Love — assuming nothing changes from now until Week 1.
“I haven’t heard anything about the Jets [and Bakhtiari],” Schefter reiterated later. “That doesn’t mean something couldn’t come to be, but I don’t think teams are usually in the business of just essentially moving on from strong, quality offensive tackles in this league because they want to make their friends happy. I don’t think Green Bay is out to do Aaron Rodgers any favors.”
David Bakhtiari Trade Made Much More Sense for Jets Than Packers
With the soon-to-be 38-year-old Duane Brown still recovering from shoulder surgery, the Jets could certainly use the stability of a left tackle like Bakhtiari. After all, NYJ could still save approximately $9.706 million in cap space this season if they were to release Brown — incurring a $1.576 million dead hit in 2023 and a prorated $4.728 million dead hit in 2024.
That — plus the Rodgers’ pay cut — would likely make this deal affordable for the Jets, but it always made far less sense for the Packers.
One, Green Bay appears to be “going for it” with Love. They stressed many times that this is not a rebuild, and a rock like Bakhtiari would be huge for a young quarterback near the beginning of his career. Gutekunst confirmed that today.
Two, the Packers would get stuck with a $19.083 million dead hit in 2023 and 2024 if they ever decided to trade Bakhtiari. Along with the Rodgers cap hit, they’d basically be punting on the season if they followed through on a move like this — and their fanbase would not be happy about that.
Gang Green would have had to work with the Packers on that prorated cap hit if a trade like this was ever discussed, let alone agreed upon. Having said that, Gutekunst put an end to those rumors on August 18. Bakhtiari isn’t going anywhere in 2023, and even if he was, it’s hard to see Green Bay handing him back to Rodgers and the Jets after all that’s transpired between the two.
Jets’ Aaron Rodgers & Packers’ David Bakhtiari Continue to Tease One Another on Social Media
In case you missed it, here’s the social media back and forth that McAfee was referring to when he asked Schefter about the Bakhtiari rumors.
Rodgers and Bakhtiari have been poking fun at one another all offseason, but the latest interactions have involved strange Easter egg tags from the future Hall of Fame QB.
First, Rodgers tagged Bakhtiari’s name near his heart on Instagram with Sauce Gardner’s account tagged on the No. 8 chain he gifted him — shared by @CaliJets on X. “Aaron Rodgers posted his custom chain from Sauce and tagged David Bakhtiari on his nipple 💀 (via IG),” @CaliJets relayed.
Bakhtiari then responded: “Y’all know who owns that nip!”
A similar exchange occurred later on Rodgers’ Instagram story when Bakhtiari’s account was tagged on the QB’s behind — which was referenced by McAfee. Again, the left tackle replied, voicing: “He knows who owns that ass!”
While it’s always fun to speculate, these public jabs are nothing more than pranks between old friends. Having said that, perhaps Bakhtiari could still be a trade option later on if the Packers struggle with Love at quarterback.