5 best free agency fits for David Bakhtiari as 2x All-Pro targets a few more years in NFL

David Bakhtiari

From 2016 to 2020, you couldn’t find a better, more consistent NFL left tackle than Green Bay’s David Bakhtiari. He started 72 games in that span, earned first-team All-Pro honors twice, second-team All-Pro three times, and reached three Pro Bowls.

But the 32-year-old has battled several injuries across the past three seasons, where he’s been available for just 13 games. Now, the left tackle is a free agent for the first time in his NFL career, but before he’s ready to sign with a new team, Bakhtiari wants to make sure there are “no question marks” regarding his health.

Yet, Bakhtiari also reiterated a strong desire to keep playing, and he’d like to go for at least a couple more years. He acknowledged that these opportunities are unlikely to come in Green Bay or New York, where Aaron Rodgers plays, but his top priority remains winning a Super Bowl and continuing to start at left tackle.

But there are only so many teams without an upper-echelon or high-upside left tackle in place, especially on contending teams. So, which teams are the best fits for Bakhtiari at this stage of the offseason? Here are the five best fits we came up with.

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David Bakhtiari rejoins NFC North, with Chicago Bears

David Bakhtiari
Credit: Mike De Sisti / Milwaukee Journal Sentinel / USA TODAY NETWORK

If the Packers have moved on from Bakhtiari, maybe he should show Green Bay what they’re missing for the next few years by joining their biggest rivals, the Chicago Bears. In a perfect world, the Bears wouldn’t have to call upon a veteran who may be on his last legs, but relying on two inexperienced starting tackles may not be ideal if they want Caleb Williams to find immediate success. Bakhtiari would at least stabilize the left while letting Darnell Wright grow into the starting right tackle job. Plus, his experience should only help Braxton Jones further his development, even if it’s from the sideline.

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Washington Commanders buy protection for Jayden Daniels

NFL: Washington Commanders OTA
Credit: Geoff Burke-USA TODAY Sports

It’s a similar story in Washington, with a potential star at quarterback with Jayden Daniels, but several questions along the Commanders’ offensive line. The Commanders could at least erase one of those question marks by bringing Bakhtiari on board. His presence may even help other young players, like fourth-round rookie Brandon Coleman, develop traits that can be effective in the long run.

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New England Patriots luck into Bakhtiari at left tackle

NFL: New England Patriots Minicamp
Credit: Eric Canha-USA TODAY Sports

The New England Patriots have another shiny, new quarterback, but is Drake Maye, or even Jacoby Brissett, in a position to succeed right away? Time will tell, but entrusting Chuks Okorafor to play left tackle feels like a risky move, if they’re trying to win. Add in the fact that Cole Strange is set to miss the start of the season, and we realize that New England’s left side of the line could be a dangerous place for any quarterback.

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Los Angeles Rams turn to Bakhtiari for more insurance

NFL: Los Angeles Rams OTA
Credit: Jayne Kamin-Oncea-USA TODAY Sports

We finally get to our first true contender on the list in the Los Angeles Rams. Alaric Jackson did a decent job in LA last season, only committing three penalties and allowing one sack per Pro Football Focus. But unlike Bakhtiari, the former undrafted pro has never shown an ability to play at an All-Pro level. With an aging Matthew Stafford entrenched as the starter, the Rams need to make sure their 36-year-old stays healthy, and signing Bakhtiari may be the best way to do so.

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Kansas City Chiefs get Patrick Mahomes a new left tackle

Kansas City Chiefs' Patrick Mahomes
Credit: Stephen R. Sylvanie-USA TODAY Sports

The Kansas City Chiefs’ offensive line had issues last season, yet it still didn’t prevent Andy Reid and Patrick Mahomes from winning another Super Bowl. Now they’re heading into another season with uncertainties in the trenches with last year’s third-round pick, Wanya Morris, and this year’s second-round pick, Kingsley Suamataia, competing to become Mahomes’ blindside protector. That spells trouble.

Bakhtiari has been vocal about his desire to win a Lombardi Trophy, and there’s no other team that presents a better opportunity than the Chiefs. If Bakhtiari’s serious about prioritizing winning, then he shouldn’t care how much, or how little Kansas City offers as a free agent.

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