David Bakhtiari has been a fan favorite in Green Bay since he was drafted in 2013. There’s been very few offensive lineman in the NFL that have captured the hearts of NFL fans the way that #69 has.
Even taking that into account, it is impossible to ignore what has been going on recently with his injury.
That said the Packers coaching staff has said he participating with the rehab group is all precautionary.
If that’s true, the Packers could still flip him for an offensive weapon for Aaron Rodgers. That weapon could be all-pro wide receiver DK Metcalf.
Since the beginning of the 2022 off-season, DK Metcalf’s name has been floated around as a trade target.
Those rumors really picked up after Russell Wilson was traded to the Denver Broncos.
Since then there have been reports of Seattle listening to offers, but nothing imminent.
Could extra protection for their young QB be enough to off-load their super star wide receiver?
Why would Seattle do this?
Russell Wilson’s frustration with Seattle’s long-standing pass protection issues was likely a major factor in his departure.
The Seahawks needed to make a serious long-term investment up front.
This began with drafting a left tackle and right tackle with their first two picks of the 2022 NFL draft.
However what team wants their QB being protected by multiple rookies for 17 games?
David Bakhtiari would be an elite starter for multiple years.
Additionally Bakhtiari is a monster in run blocking.
That will appeal to coach Pete Carroll, who will undoubtedly be looking for a more run-heavy approach on offense in Wilson’s absence.
Lastly, Seattle has had holes all over their offensive line for years.
Bringing in a true starter would allow for versatility with the rest of the offensive lineman in Seattle.
Lastly, it has been left extremely unclear whether or not the Seahawks want to pay DK Metcalf “wide receiver” money.
Metcalf will likely be looking for a Davante Adams / Tyreek Hill type of payday.
With Seattle unsure of what direction their club is headed (total rebuild or just reconstruction) committing that type of money to one player may not be what they are interested in.
Who would replace David Bakhtiari in Green Bay?
Yosh Nijmam was a diamond found in the rough last year.
Nijman, who’d played only 14 career offensive snaps before last year, wound up starting eight regular-season games and playing 590 offensive snaps (52.9%).
He blocked some of the NFL’s best edge rushers (Pittsburgh’s T.J. Watt, San Francisco’s Nick Bosa, Cleveland’s Myles Garrett and the Los Angeles Rams’ Von Miller among them) while giving up three sacks and 20 total pressures according to Pro Football Focus.
He struggled against Joey Bosa in the Packers’ lone playoff game of the 2021-22 season, but all in all he showed a ton of promise.