Longtime Packers player was ready to say goodbye to Aaron Rodgers


Packers longtime tackle David Bakhtiari opened up on Aaron Rodgers’ recent departure and why it doesn’t surprise him.

Green Bay Packers offensive tackle David Bakhtiari has been Aaron Rodgers’ left-hand man for the last decade, but in 2023, he won’t be. If you ask him, he’s been waiting for this moment for quite some time.

That’s not to say Bakhtiari expressed any joy in Rodgers leaving the Packers for the New York Jets earlier this offseason.

He and the rest of the Packers organization watched a legend bid farewell to his longtime home knowing it was the inevitable end of an era. And that’s exactly what it was: inevitable.

Bakhtiari, now Green Bay’s longest-tenured player, recently spoke about what it was like to part ways with Aaron Rodgers after ten fruitful years, and he had a rather matter-of-fact take on the whole thing.

Bakhtiari said:

“Those guys are some of my closest buddies. That’s kind of prepped me for this moment. Just another guy that’s gone. I even talked to Aaron. I remember him saying Charles Woodson was one of the biggest things, when they saw him go. It’s a business. You should never forget that. Because it will happen.”

Packers tackle David Bakhtiari has cynical view on Aaron Rodgers’ exit

The “buddies” Bakhtiari was referring to include a host of Packers offensive linemen who have come and gone through the revolving door in the last decade: Josh Sitton, T.J. Land, Bryan Bulaga, and more.

The 31-year-old tackle nonetheless recognizes that the changing of the guard was bound to take place whether now or a few years down the road, and he touched on how excited he was to work with Jordan Love in a new-look offense in 2023.

There were some rumblings about the Packers cutting Bakhtiari in the future due to his $40 million cap hit for 2024, and perhaps Rodgers left the door open just a crack for his offensive tackle to leave through next offseason.

Unless Green Bay extends Bakhtiari — an unlikely scenario given his age and knee injury — the tackle will probably have to find a new home after this season.

For now, Bakhtiari seems to be looking forward to the challenge of navigating life sans Aaron Rodgers. As for the Packers, they should treasure the precious time they have with the veteran tackle as the clock keeps ticking…


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