Many fans and pundits questioned the Green Bay Packers when they released long-time guard Josh Sitton abruptly. However, the move created around $7 million in cap space and now, the Packers have put that space to good use by re-signing left tackle David Bakhtiari to a new four-year deal.
The deal, which was first reported by Ian Rapoport of NFL.com, is for $51.67 million, which will make the former fourth-round draft choice, one of the NFL’s highest-paid offensive tackles.
#Packers agreed to terms with LT David Bakhtiari on a 4-year extension worth up to $51.67M. New money avgs is $12M per year. Top 5 for OLs
— Ian Rapoport (@RapSheet) September 13, 2016
While it seems like a lot of money, there is absolutely no doubt that Bakhtiari is worth it and if letting go of Sitton gave Green Bay enough cap room to make it happen, then it was well worth it.
Over the years, general manager Ted Thompson has done a great job of keeping his own star players and he did it again with Bakhtiari, who was set to be Green Bay’s most important free agent this summer.
The Packers still have plenty of work to do. T.J. Lang, JC Tretter, Eddie Lacy, Nick Perry, Datone Jones, Julius Peppers, and Micah Hyde are all set to be unrestricted free agents. But none of those players means as much to the Packers, as Bakhtiari does.
This signing gives Green Bay long-term security at tackle. And with the development of Jason Spriggs, who could be the future right tackle, may eventually allow the Packers to move Bryan Bulaga inside to guard if needed.
Followers of the Packers don’t always agree with Thompson’s moves, but there can be no arguing with the signing of Bakhtiari, a player who was a great draft pick and now will be a great player in Green Bay for years to come.