We all know the Green Bay Packers trade the franchise has to make in the 2023 NFL offseason is moving Aaron Rodgers to the New York Jets. However, there is another move the team should make, too. Rodgers’ good buddy, left tackle David Bakhtiari, should be a package deal with the QB, which would work out great for both teams.
Packers trade David Bakhtiari to the Jets with Aaron Rodgers
Whether the Packers want to admit it or not, moving on from Aaron Rodgers means that the franchise is rebuilding. The good new is, last NFL offseason, the team got off to a good start in this regard.
Green Bay replaced their top wide receivers with rookies Christian Watson and Romeo Doubs. The organization also made the defense younger and more dynamic with the addition of Georgia defenders Devonte Wyatt and Quay Walker. This offseason, the Packers moved on from even more veterans, letting wide receiver Allen Lazard, tight end Robert Tonyan, and defensive end Jarran Reed go. WR Randall Cobb and TE Marcedes Lewis are likely out, too.
Currently, 4/5 of the Packers' projected starting offensive line — Elgton Jenkins, Josh Myers, Jon Runyan, and Yosh Nijman — is 27 and under. Backups Zach Tom and Royce Newman are 23 and 25, respectively. The outlier on the line is 31-year-old left tackle David Bakhtiari.
The three-time Pro Bowler and two-time All-Pro has missed 26 games the last three seasons and will make $21.2 million next season. If the lineman can get back to form after his injury struggles, he is still a high-end starter, but there’s no guarantee that will happen.
As the Packers continue to try and retool for the Jordan Love Era, the best move would be to see if last year’s fourth-round pick, Tom, can win a starting job and bring in some competition in the draft. The Packers should have extra picks once they finalize the Aaron Rodgers deal.
To add to those picks, adding Bakhtiari to the Rodgers trade makes a lot of sense.
The Jets are going all-in for the next one or two seasons (tops) with Rodgers as the starting QB. It is in the franchise’s best interest to do everything it can to put an infrastructure around him to help him succeed.
The Jets offensive line is solid in the middle with veteran guards Laken Tomlinson and Alijah Vera-Tucker and 2023 NFL offseason free-agent signing Wes Schweitzer penciled in at center. The tackles, on the other hand, are not as set.
The team’s top three tackles currently are Mekhi Beckton, Duane Brown, and Max Mitchell. Beckton hasn’t been on the field much, playing just 15 games after the team picked him No. 11 overall in the 2020 NFL Draft. Brown turns 38 in August, and Mitchell, last year’s fourth-round pick is promising but missed time due to a knee injury and blood clots last season.
Rodgers has already allegedly given the Jets a list of players he’d like them to sign (although he denies that’s how it went down), and he’d surely be thrilled if his close pal, David Bakhtiari was another player who joined him in New York.
NFL insider Mike Florio speculated on the Pat McAfee Show this week that the Packers will not get a first-round pick for their longtime QB. He thinks that a second this year and a conditional second next year will be the price.
If Bakhtiari is added to the Packers’ trade package for the Jets, Green Bay may be able to sure up two seconds with no conditions or add a third-round pick this year to the deal.
The Jets would likely have to do some salary-cap maneuvering to get Rodgers and Bahktiari to fit, but we know pretty much anything is possible under the NFL’s salary-cap rules. And the Packers would have a motive to restructure Bakhtiari’s contract before the trade to save even more money on the salary cap.
If the Packers do end up with an extra second and third-round pick this NFL offseason, that’s a prime spot to take a young tackle in this year’s draft. Matthew Bergeron from Syracuse, Darnell Wright from Tennessee, Dawand Jones from Ohio State, and Anton Harrison from Oklahoma are all names for the Pack to consider on Day 2.
Adding David Bakhtiari to a Jets-Packers trade for Aaron Rodgers makes sense for everyone involved. It sweetens the trade on both sides, makes Rodgers even happier in New York, and allows Green Bay to continue to move on and rebuild for the next iteration of the franchise.
That’s why Bakhtiari is the perfect non-Aaron Rodgers trade the Packers must complete in the 2023 NFL offseason.