Chiefs Urged to Sign Former Packers $92 Million Starter for ‘A Steal’

David Bakhtiari

Getty Former Packers tackle David Bakhtiari at Lambeau Field on October 02, 2022.

With just one week to go before the 2024 NFL draft, the Kansas City Chiefs are finalizing their board.

While the Chiefs are expected to draft a wide receiver in the first round, they could swerve to fill a massive hole on the roster. As it stands, the Chiefs don’t have a viable starting left tackle to protect quarterback Patrick Mahomes‘ blindside.

ESPN’s Jeremy Fowler posted on Thursday, April 18 that Kansas City is actively looking to fill the position. Before offensive tackle Andre Dillard signed with the Green Bay Packers, he took a free-agent visit to the Chiefs. “Kansas City needs tackle help, which it could find in the draft,” Fowler reported.

AtoZ Sports’ Charles Goldman, however, noted there are a handful of free agents still available that could fit well with the Chiefs. In particular, former Packers star David Bakhtiari. The 32-year-old veteran signed a four-year, $92 million extension with Green Bay in 2020. By releasing Bakhtiari in March, the Packers saved over $20 million against the cap.

Goldman wrote, “If they wanted to go a low-risk, high-reward route, they could take a swing with former Green Bay Packers LT David Bahktiari. He’s managed to play in just 13 games since tearing his ACL late in the 2020 NFL season. If he’s fully healthy, he could prove to be a steal.”

The Chiefs have approximately $20.1 million in cap space after trading L’Jarius Sneed to the Tennessee Titans. Even if they plan to draft a left tackle, having a veteran like Bakhtiari, a two-time First-Team All-Pro, on hand to help mentor the prospect is a solid move.

David Bakhtiari Would Be an ‘Obvious Upgrade’ Over the Chiefs’ Current Options at LT

David Bakhtiari

GettyFormer Packers offensive tackle David Bakhtiari at Lambeau Field on January 08, 2023.

Earlier this month, analyst Wendell Ferreira named the Chiefs as “the most obvious” landing spot for Bakhtiari. The three-time Pro-Bowler “would be an obvious upgrade compared to projected starting left tackle Wanya Morris, a third-round pick in last year’s draft who played 30% of the offensive snaps in his rookie season coming in as a backup — and played at a mediocre level,” Ferreira wrote.

“The plan B is to move Jawann Taylor to left tackle, with Lucas Niang playing at right tackle, which isn’t a great solution either. The Chiefs haven’t re-signed Donovan Smith, who started last year, and Bakhtiari is a much better player. The health question marks are obvious, but the Chiefs could handle Bakhtiari missing six or seven games if he’s healthy enough to play from November on.”

When the 2013 fourth-round pick out of Colorado is healthy, he’s a force. Since entering the NFL, the 6-foot-3, 230-pounder allowed 32.0 sacks over 5,758 pass-blocking snaps, per Pro Football Focus. During the 2022 NFL season, he appeared in 11 games. He earned an overall 79.8 grade for his 11 starts.

Chiefs News: Re-Signing Donovan Smith Remains an Option

Donovan Smith

GettyFormer Chiefs offensive tackle Donovan Smith on February 09, 2024 in Henderson, Nevada.

While Smith missed a slew of games due to a neck injury last season, ESPN insider Bill Barnwell says that’s not the main reason the veteran remains a free agent.

Penalties,” Barnwell wrote.

“Smith has 29 over the last four seasons, which ties him for the third-most of any player. No. 1 is former Chiefs teammate and fellow tackle Jawaan Taylor, so that should be proof that penalties alone can’t keep players from winning a Super Bowl. Smith is 30 and missed the final five games of the regular season with a neck injury before returning in the postseason, so there might be some medical concerns around him as well.”

Taylor, who signed a four-year $80 million contract with the Chiefs last March, finished the 2023 season as the most penalized offensive lineman in the league.

Kansas City signed Smith to a one-year, $3 million deal last May. If the Chiefs don’t select an offensive tackle in the draft or a find new veteran they like, re-signing Smith could be their fallback plan.