The Green Bay Packers made some big news on Tuesday morning, and I’m not talking about the team’s Color Rush uniform release.
No, the big news of the day is that the Packers have extended the contract of starting left tackle David Bakhtiari. The fourth-year tackle was set to be a free agent in 2017, when his rookie contract expired. Now, he will be locked up through the end of the 2020 season thanks to a four-year contract extension:
#Packers LT David Bakhtiari has agreed to a 4-yr extension worth up to $51.67M. New money average is $12M, which puts him in top 5 for OL.— Tom Silverstein (@TomSilverstein) September 13, 2016
Bakhtiari was a fourth-round draft pick out of Colorado in 2013. In three-plus seasons, he has started all but two regular season games - the final two games of the 2015 season.
According to the Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel, the Packers had about $16.7 million in salary cap space following the releases of guard Josh Sitton and punter Tim Masthay. The structure of Bakhtiari’s contract will of course dictate how much of that space ends up being used up with the move. For now, it appears that the deal likely has a signing bonus of about $17 million, which would be spread out over this season and the four new years of his deal. That would add about $3.4 million to this year’s cap, and there may be more if the deal restructures his base salary for this season.
As Silverstein notes, there are only a few offensive linemen with an average yearly contract value of $12 million, and all are left tackles: Washington’s Trent Williams, New Orleans’ Terron Armstead, Dallas’ Tyron Smith, Kansas City’s Eric Fisher, and Buffalo’s Cordy Glenn. Now you can add Bakhtiari to that notable list.
Stay tuned as we work to determine the full salary cap impact of this move as more information is announced.