All-Pro LT Named Fit for Commanders

David Bakhtiari

Getty An All-Pro left tackle is a potential fit for the Washington Commanders after a positive injury update.

Left tackle remains a glaring hole on an otherwise restocked roster for the Washington Commanders, a problem position All-Pro David Bakhtiari could help fix. Provided the veteran is deemed fully healthy.

Bakhtiari is a potential fit after some positive recent injury news, according to Bryan Manning of Commanders Wire. He noted how “Washington has plenty of cap space remaining to take a chance on Bakhtiari for the upcoming season.”

The chance element of this signing comes from ex-Green Bay Packers’ starter Bakhtiari being 32. He also “played only one game last season and has played in just 13 games over the past three seasons as he has undergone two knee surgeries.”

That’s a worrying recent injury record, but there’s hope for Bakhtiari. Hope based upon an update from NFL Network’s Ian Rapoport on Tuesday, May 21, revealing the player “had a positive follow-up exam with expert Dr. Brian Cole, and Cole proclaimed him on schedule for a 2024 season return.”

Manning, who referenced the post from Rapoport, explained why Bakhtiari’s low market value and impressive pedigree on the field should interest teams: “Bakhtiari will not be costly, as no team will break the bank on him. This means he could be a smart buy-low candidate if team doctors clear him for 2024. A two-time first-team All-Pro and a three-time second-team All-Pro, Bakhtiari could at least be brought in for a workout.”

David Bakhtiari Would Be a Useful Stop-Gap

Bakhtiari might be nothing more than a stop-gap at this stage of his career. Yet, not many stop-gaps are as accomplished as an 11-year pro who’s made the Pro Bowl three times.

Spending most of his career as the blindside protector for Aaron Rodgers is excellent preparation for Bakhtiari keeping pressure away from Jayden Daniels. The Commanders have put the future of the franchise into the hands of the second player taken in the 2024 NFL draft, so keeping him clean in the pocket has to be a priority.

Bakhtiari would answer the call, based on the way he was still excelling in pass protection in Week 1 of the 2023 season, according to Pro Football Focus.

The Commanders need a pass-protector as skilled as this to protect their investment in Daniels. Given the importance of the latter, it’s a surprise Washington has still allowed left tackle to be shrouded in so much uncertainty.

Commanders Still Need LT Help

General manager Adam Peters and head coach Dan Quinn were content to release former starter Charles Leno Jr., but they’ve done little to replace the 32-year-old since. They’ve remained inactive, despite the presence of capable free agents, including a two-time Super Bowl winner, still on the market.

Instead, the Commanders appear ready to trust third-round pick Brandon Coleman at arguably the second-most important position on offense. The former TCU standout isn’t the most experienced tackle, having made 12 starts at guard, according to Bleacher Report’s Brandon Thorn.

No matter where he played, Coleman did prove credible protecting the passer, per PFF Commanders.

What the Commanders are lacking is a proven commodity on the blindside. Perhaps Andrew Wylie, a free-agent bust at right tackle last season, switches over to the left.

That’s an option, but so is handing a veteran’s minimum deal to a natural left tackle as skilled as Bakhtiari.

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