David Bakhtiari on his future: I still have a lot to play for

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Packers left tackle David Bakhtiari has missed 26 games the past three seasons, including six in 2022, because of a career-altering knee injury and an appendectomy. But Bakhtiari has no plans to retire, and in fact, “totally thinks” he will enter 2023 with better health luck.

Bakhtiari underwent three knee operations and an appendectomy in two years but has no offseason surgeries scheduled for this offseason.

“I look at the offseason as putting on your armor and then, going through a season, you get deteriorated throughout the year,” Bakhtiari said Monday, via Bill Huber of SI.com. “I don’t have a chance to put on my armor. I’m kind of going into war unprotected so, thankfully, did a really good job talking to training room, strength staff, even bringing in people from outside, making sure I can get myself to grow, because football’s not in any rehab that you do coming off of surgery.”

The Packers have to work through some cap challenges this offseason, and Bakhtiari is one of the question marks with cap charges of $29.1 million in 2023 and $33.1 million in 2024. He has a $9.5 million roster bonus that is due on the third day of the league year in March.

His release would create almost $6 million of cap space, but it also would create a big hole at left tackle.

When Bakhtiari is healthy, he remains one of the best in the league at his position.

“I still have a lot to play for,” Bakhtiari said. “I have things that I want to do both collectively for the club and personally for myself, but I understand it is, No. 1, at the end of the day, a business. I have nothing but the utmost respect for Gutey [G.M. Brian Gutekunst]. He’s been nothing but great to me since the moment I walked in these doors since 2013, so I expect anything that comes that way, hopefully if we do cross the negative bridge that we have a conversation that happens. But that’s life. I have no ill-will but, first and foremost, I don’t expect that but, on the same end, I totally respect what happens.”

David Bakhtiari on his future: I still have a lot to play for originally appeared on Pro Football Talk