Talks between the Packers and the Jets on an Aaron Rodgers trade appear to be at a stalemate.
However, longtime Green Bay Packers offensive tackle David Bakhtiari believes a deal will get done. He also shared his thoughts about the timing of the deal, predicting the trade would likely happen prior to the draft.
“I think the most simple thing is they’ll [the Packers] get whatever picks they wanted. They’ll get it before the draft and then time will show us. He’s going to be a Jet,” Bakhtiari said on Barstool Sports’ “Bussin With The Boys” podcast.
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The three-time Pro Bowl left tackle added he’s aware the Packers would largely be viewed as a team in full rebuild mode if Rodgers departs.
“The Packers are rebuilding, whether you think so or not,” Bakhtiari said. “Could they be good? I don’t know. Could they be bad? Probably, if you’re betting more people are gonna think they’re gonna be bad than good, right? Isn’t that fair to say? So, then they’ll be like, ‘Well, we’re gonna suck anyways.”
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Bakhtiari also shared an interesting theory about what could happen if Rodgers stayed with Green Bay.
“We want what we want, and we’re not gonna bend to anyone. So we’ll just eat it [Aaron Rodgers’ contract]. We’ll pay you, we don’t care. If we’re gonna do it our way, it’s gonna be on our terms. If not, what are we gonna be, Super Bowl contenders anyway? So we’ll eat it. You [Rodgers] can hang on the side. We’ll pay you [Rodgers] your money, and then we’ll suck anyways, get the picks, as compared to dealing him for something that you shouldn’t have.”
The Packers do not have a singular owner and are publicly owned by shareholders.
A billionaire owner would likely not be happy with the idea of losing $60 million in a single season due to one player simply not playing. But, since one person will not have to incur the cost, the franchise does have the opportunity to “eat” the Rodgers’ contract in 2023 if the deal with the Jets happens to blow up.
Green Bay does have other options it could exercise before Week 1 of the regular season kicks off to reduce Rodgers’ salary cap number.
Bakhtiari did acknowledge that the option of keeping Rodgers in Green Bay and paying him to sit on the bench would only be considered if the Jets offer something the Packers cannot stomach.
“As compared to dealing him [Rodgers] for something that you shouldn’t have, you [general manager Brian Gutekunst] could potentially look like an idiot to not only the [team] president and the board but to everyone else around the league, thinking in the GM’s perspective,” Bakhtiari continued.
“[Could] put yourself on the hot seat and potentially have your job come called into question. I look at all these ways you can deal it. I don’t think it’d get that contentious. I do think they’ll [the Jets and Packers] probably come to an agreement. He’ll get traded, they’ll [the Packers] get what they want and then time will probably say who won what.”
Bakhtiari is confident Jordan Love will be the starting quarterback for the Packers in 2023, with or without Rodgers on the roster.
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Bakhtiari and Rodgers have enjoyed a close friendship over the years. In 2020, the offensive lineman gave the quarterback a golf cart, and the two routinely rode it to Packers’ practices.