Martha Careful
a month ago
Bill Huber wrote:

Packers Won’t Wait for Bakhtiari’s Knee to Heal
INDIANAPOLIS – The Green Bay Packers have a major financial decision looming with former All-Pro left tackle David Bakhtiari. Major but probably simple.

Bakhtiari is due a $20.2 million base salary in 2024. The Packers have no idea if the latest procedures done on his injured knee – the fourth and fifth since the initial injury was sustained on Dec. 31, 2020 – will have him ready to play in 2024 for at least a few more months. Meanwhile, the Packers only have two weeks to get their salary cap configured to build a roster for the upcoming season.

Taking those two realities into account, the Packers almost certainly will release Bakhtiari before the start of the league-year on March 13. That decision would create almost $20.94 million of cap space.

“We’re not there yet, but we’re getting there,” general manager Brian Gutekunst told a group of local reporters on Tuesday at the Scouting Combine. “This is that time of year where we’re looking at everything, and those decisions will come pretty soon.”

What has to get done to get “there” for a decision? From a health and recovery perspective, nothing is going to change over the next couple weeks. There will be no definitive “yes” or “no” on his status for 2024, let alone if he’ll be ready to embark on the next chapter of his Hall of Fame-caliber career.

In other words, what is Gutekunst waiting for?

“I think it’s just part of my training from Ted Thompson,” Gutekunst said. “It’s just, different things can happen in the world, so don’t make decisions before you have to. So, we’ll kind of get through. I think we have a few weeks here before free agency starts, another league-year starts, and we’ll get through that and go from there.”

Bakhtiari’s cap charge for 2024 – his final season under contract – is about $40.02 million. That’s high-profile quarterback territory. If released, Bakhtiari would count as $19.08 million of dead money on the cap, the lingering impact of the $30 million signing bonus that was part of the four-year, $92 million contract extension signed in November 2020 and previous cap-saving contract restructures.

Bakhtiari played in only game last season – Week 1 against Chicago – before shutting it down and opting for surgery to, hopefully, get past his issues once and for all. He’s played in only 13 games the past three seasons.

In his place last season, 2022 seventh-round pick Rasheed Walker filled in admirably for the final 18 games (including playoffs). At this way-too-early juncture of the offseason, he’d be the starter for 2024.

“I certainly think he’s already shown that he’s done a great job,” Gutekunst said. “I want competition at all five spots, but Rasheed, the improvement in the work that he put in, it’s exactly what we want, and expect him to continue to get better. But he had pretty good year last year, he’s got a ton upside. Great person. And I’m excited to see where he’ll go.”

Is this the entire story...if so, then it seems pretty cut and dried.

But I thought there was some aspect of this with a potential injury settlement which might screw up our cap space both this year and in subsequent years.

Go Packers!!!!
a month ago
Seems clear the knee isn't healed yet. Personally, it's been what three years of knee issues? I'm cutting him and wishing him the best. That knee isn't reliable enough. That's tough for the player, but Packers showed they can win and excel without him. Let him embark on that next avenue or retire.
a month ago

Bill Huber wrote:Is this the entire story...if so, then it seems pretty cut and dried.

But I thought there was some aspect of this with a potential injury settlement which might screw up our cap space both this year and in subsequent years.


Originally Posted by: Martha Careful 

Some aspect of this:
Huber made no mention of the automatic 1.3 million Bak gets for being cut.
Huber makes no mention of Bak having 25 days to file an injury grievance.
IF filed, will automatically require the Packers to place 40% of the potential 20 million in cash escrow, along with 40% of the 20 mil of cap space. The 1.3 and 8 mil bringing this years cash and cap hit to right around 28 mil. for a cap "savings" of 12 mil, not 20.
The grievance will be arbitrated between the NFLPA and the league, so good luck with getting any kind of reduced settlement. You know, the same NFLPA that is currently defending against the league in a grievance from them for telling the running backs to fake injuries in order to increase leverage in order to get paid.
Either Gute or Huber have not read the CBA, which I know Gute damn well has, and Huber is in question here, or some sort of understanding has been reached that the parties are not divulging. If you want to get real technical, the NFLPA can invoke a clause seeking even more than the 20 mil, citing acting in bad faith. A (cap) path to Packer perditon, in venacular you might use. So, to all of you seeking a simple solution by cutting this man now, (including me with the caveat that this has been thought through)

Be careful what you wish for, you just might.....

Article 45, collective bargaining agreement, exponentially too long to quote here, but available online.

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