David Bakhtiari is now the most experienced player on the Green Bay Packers after the team traded Aaron Rodgers to the New York Jets, and he spoke about his mindset after Rodgers' departure from the Packers. Bakhtiari draws from past experiences dealing with departing teammates on the offensive line, and advice from Rodgers himself regarding the departure of Charles Woodson.
“Those guys are some of my closest buddies,” David Bakhtiari said, via Wes Hodkiewicz of Packers.com “That's kind of prepped me for this moment. Just another guy that's gone. I even talked to Aaron. I remember him saying Charles Woodson was one of the biggest things, when they saw him go. It's a business. You should never forget that. Because it will happen.”
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Bakhtiari garnered attention when he declared that the Packers are rebuilding as a result of the transition from Rodgers to Jordan Love, and he has since reiterated that stance. However, he believes that is not such a bad thing, and that the Seattle Seahawks transitioning from Russell Wilson to Geno Smith is an example of a successful transition, according to Hodkiewicz.
Bakhtiari is having a healthy offseason for the first time in years, finally back to full strength from a torn ACL he suffered on New Year's Eve in 2020. The Packers look a lot different now, as many offensive linemen have come and gone and Rodgers is departed, along with former star receiver Davante Adams. The Packers hope that they can have success that is similar to what the Seahawks did in 2022 after going from Russell Wilson to Geno Smith. If they do, Bakhtiari will be a big part of it.