David Bakhtiari’s thought process on new contract is as expected

David Bakhtiari is headed into a contract year, but he’s not close to sweating it yet.

With Bryan Bulaga gone to the Los Angeles Chargers in free agency, left tackle David Bakhtiari is now one of the elder statesman on the Green Bay Packers offensive line. Or, as he said to the media on Tuesday, Bakhtiari is now one of the “eldest statesman” and can “do what he wants.”

Bakhtiari is a two-time Pro Bowler and one-time All Pro, with plenty of good years left entering his age-29 season. He is also entering the final year of a four-year, $48 million deal he signed early in the 2016 season. His $14.7 million cap hit for this year is a reasonable seventh among offensive tackles, and 10th among all offensive lineman according to Spotrac.

Asking Bakhtiari about when he hopes to get a contract extension done was natural for someone in the media to do during Tuesday’s Zoom session. Ryan Wood of the Green Bay Press-Gazette took the plunge, and got an expected response.

David Bakhtiari remains focused on football despite contract talks

With this year’s offensive tackle cap hits as guide, two of the six above Bakhtiari are right tackles (Trenton Brown and Lane Johnson). Nate Solder, Taylor Lewan, Anthony Castonzo and Eric Fisher are the left tackles taking up more cap than Bakhtiari in 2020. He is better than Solder and Fisher, and at least in the same class as Lewan and Castonzo.

Bakhtiari came in at No. 42 on Pro Football Focus’ Top 50 players for the new year, with data to back that up.

If he has another season on par with recent ones in 2020, Bakhtiari will get a huge pay day next March. The level contract talks have reached to this point aren’t known, but the Green Bay front office could try to get ahead of it during the season and essentially make their left tackle a lifetime Packer. To his credit Bakhtiari isn’t sweating it, knowing it will work itself out one way or another and he’ll be fine.

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