June 17, 2024

What will the Packers do at left tackle this summer to protect Jordan Love? is the title of a piece written by Matt Schneidman of The Athletic on Thursday. It obviously alluded to the decision that Green Bay will soon have to make about their franchise left tackle, David Bakhtiari. Bakhtiari recently underwent knee cartilage repair surgery, which has prevented him from playing in the majority of games since he tore his ACL in 2

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Since it went live, this passage from Schneidman’s post has been greatly exaggerated on social media:

The likelihood is that Bakhtiari will be traded or released by the Packers, even though he may still be an elite player when healthy, as he demonstrated on a short Sunday against the Chicago Bears in September. It’s possible that the New York Jets will pay a late-round pick to bring Bakhtiari back to his old golf cart buddy Aaron Rodgers.

This was Schneidman “reading between the lines,” not “a report based on sourcing,” as he has later said on X/Twitter. He was just making the connections, since Bakhtiari will fetch a $40 million cap hit in 2024. To put that into context, assuming the Packers stick with Bakhtiari, that would be the largest cap charge an NFL team has ever incurred for a non-quarterback in a single season.

Despite this, several aggregators continued to publish Schneidman’s view as truth. Dov Kleiman, who has 266 thousand followers on Twitter/X, was one such guilty party.

From the outside looking in, Kleiman either doesn’t know how to use the English language well or he was just trying to stir things up to get attention on social media. Nevertheless, Kleiman’s Tweet has been seen by about 500,000 people, serving as yet another illustration of how quickly false information can proliferate online.

However, there is one accurate statement in his tweet: Bakhtiari may be of interest to the New York Jets. The Athletic revealed last month in a lengthy piece by Zack Rosenblatt and Dianna Russini that Bakhtiari was on former Packers quarterback Aaron Rodgers’ short list of possible Jets candidates during the offseason. This was hardly an unexpected outcome, considering Bakhtiari and Rodgers are known to be close friends and Rodgers had great success with Bakhtiari blocking his blindside.

Perhaps Bakhtiari will become a Jet in the future. However, he currently has a deal with the Packers. The team won’t be releasing Bakhtiari until at least mid-March, when his $9.5 million roster bonus for the 2024 campaign is scheduled to activate. When it comes to Bakhtiari’s future, the waiting game has been protracted, but any major deadline is still one month away.

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