Top Free Agent Landing Spots For LT David Bakhtiari

Longtime Packers LT David Bakhtiari is testing free agency for the first time after spending the first 11 years of his career in Green Bay. At one point, Bakhtiari was one of the best tackles in football, even signing a deal that made him the highest-paid offensive lineman in NFL history. But he’s struggled with injuries the past few seasons and was released this offseason.

David Bakhtiari

Bakhtiari tore his ACL in December of 2020 in the second-to-last game of the season. It took him over a full calendar year to return to the field and he played just one game the following season. Bakhtiari made 11 starts in 2022 but he was managing his knee the entire year and there were some games he was only able to play around half the snaps. He started in Week 1 for the Packers in 2023 before missing the rest of the season with another knee injury.

All told, Bakhtiari has played in just 13 of 51 possible games over the past three seasons. His knee has stalled what was becoming an incredible career for Bakhtiari, but whenever he’s been on the field, he’s been at least 90 percent of the player he was in his prime.

A healthy Bakhtiari would be an immediate boon at left tackle for whoever signs him. He insists he has more in the tank and intends to play in 2024. Hopefully he’s right. The return of one of the NFL’s best would be a welcome sight.

Bakhtiari, 32, is a former fourth-round pick of the Packers back in 2013. He was in the final year of his five-year, $53.34 million contract that included $16 million guaranteed and set to make a base salary of $10 million for the 2020 season when he agreed to a four-year extension worth up to $105.5 million. 

The deal included a $30 million signing bonus and another $30 million-plus available in March roster bonuses in the first few years of the deal. However, he tore his ACL at the end of the 2020 season and played in just 13 games over the course of the next three seasons. 

He was to earn a base salary of $10.7 million in the final year of his deal in 2024 when the Packers released him. 

In 2023, Bakhtiari appeared in just one game for the Packers before being shut down for the season due to more knee issues.

We have him included in our Top 100 Available Free Agents list. 


Aaron Donald’s retirement this offseason signals the beginning of the end for this iteration of the Rams. The first of Los Angeles’s big three to retire, Donald steps away a living legend and leaves the Rams tooling for what could be one final run at a title before a more serious rebuild.

The Rams have done a good job of getting younger quickly while staying good. Last year, they hit on rookies like G Steve Avila, WR Puka Nacua, DT Kobie Turner and OLB Byron Young to infuse their roster with young talent. This year, they brought in a ton of reinforcements on the offensive line, defensive line and in the secondary as they look to build on last season’s wildcard berth.

If there’s one major weakness on this roster now, it’s at left tackle with incumbent starter Alaric Jackson. The former undrafted free agent has outperformed expectations and unseated the higher-paid Joseph Noteboom for the job, but at this point, it’s fair to say he might be the weak point of the starting five. Avila is expected to shift to center and earn the starting job there, and the Rams signed guards Jonah Jackson and Kevin Dotson to go with established RT Rob Havenstein

Bakhtiari would be a fantastic fit here. He’d be an immediate upgrade in the starting lineup and raise the ceiling for the line as a whole. With both Jackson and Noteboom, the Rams already have insurance should Bakhtiari run into more health issues. Right now, left tackle is a weakness for the Rams, but signing Bakhtiari would turn the entire line into a major strength.


The Titans have spent the last two seasons overhauling and rebuilding their offensive line. They used the No. 11 pick in 2023 on tackle-to-guard convert Peter Skoronski, and the No. 7 pick this year on behemoth tackle JC Latham. Free agent C Lloyd Cushenberry III adds to the retooling of an offensive line that’s been in shambles in recent years.

But the work isn’t done yet. The projected starter at right tackle is Dillon Radunz, a second-round pick in 2021 who has struggled at both tackle and guard over his career. Tennessee has worked hard to give second-year QB Will Levis as much support as they can, but a major weak link on the offensive line could hinder all of that.

Bakhtiari could come in and start at left tackle, allowing Latham to slide back over to the right side, which he played at Alabama. The Titans haven’t been shy about adding older, veteran talent, to supplement or even anchor their roster. The youngest of their top three wide receivers, Tyler Boyd, turns 30 in November. This would be another move in that vein.

Bakhtiari has his injury concerns, but when healthy he’s a massive upgrade for Tennessee. A one-year deal could provide Levis with some much-needed insurance.

New York Jets

I would be remiss if I didn’t mention the Jets in this discussion. Longtime Green Bay QB Aaron Rodgers is now in New York, and he’s recruited many of his old teammates from the Packers over to the Jets since joining them. Rodgers is known to stick by his buddies, and he and Bakhtiari are good friends.

New York did a good job retooling their offensive line this offseason, but it is potentially fragile, and may need additional reinforcements. At tackle, they acquired Morgan Moses and Tyron Smith to be their starting tackles and drafted Penn State OT Olu Fashanu in the first round as both immediate insurance against injury and as the heir apparent at left tackle.

Both Smith and Moses have injury concerns, however. Neither player is on a consistent run of clean, injury-free seasons, and both are well over 30. Signing Bakhtiari isn’t a move the Jets are likely to make right away, but if either Smith or Moses are injured in camp, or the coaching staff doesn’t feel that Fashanu would be ready to step in and start, bringing in the veteran Bakhtiari would make a lot of sense.

Bakhtiari would get to join a win-now roster competing for a title, and the Rodgers connection could really help a deal come together. Even after the Jets’ offseason additions, it’s a landing spot that makes too much sense to ignore.

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  1. Jets??? Seriously? After they spent some of their limited cap space, and used significant draft capital to obtain Moses, Smith and Fashanu?

    And no mention of the Commanders, who have a huge hole at left tackle; have a ton of cap space; and have shown a tendency this off-season of signing older, experienced players (Bobby Wagner, Zach Ertz, Austin Ekeler) to set the tone for the younger guys.

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