David Bakhtiari Supports Rodgers From Afar

Even though Aaron Rodgers is missing from mandatory minicamp, he still has support from his All-Pro left tackle. 

Green Bay Packers left tackle David Bakhtiari can’t protect Aaron Rodgers’ blindside unless they are on the field together. However, he still has his quarterbacks’ back while Rodgers’ future with the team appears to be in jeopardy.

“I care about Aaron Rodgers from a friend perspective,” Bakhtiari said Tuesday. “Whatever he wants to do, whatever situation that comes out, I will never hold any grudge against him.”

In a not-so-surprising development, Rodgers failed to show up for this week’s mandatory minicamp. Storylines surrounding the Packers this offseason have been flooded by his reported disgruntlement with the front office. Rodgers has yet to publicly address his stance, so the details remain a mystery.

Rodgers already missed voluntary OTAs, therefore surrendering a $500,000 workout bonus. He will potentially lose more money if he doesn’t show up to his mandatory obligations. Missing all three days of mandatory minicamp subjects Rodgers to fines of $93,085. No one knows how or when the situation between Rodgers and the team will be resolved -- if that is at all a possibility. Very little information has been divulged from head coach Matt LaFleur, general manager Brian Gutekunst, and Packers president Mark Murphy as far as what Rodgers is demanding. 

However, Bakhtiari is one of the closest friends Rodgers has on the team. Even though he won’t inject himself into the situation between the quarterback and the front office, Bakhtiari does hope that Rodgers will return.

“That is my friend, that is someone that I’ve appreciated, and he has done a lot for this organization and a lot for me as an individual,” Bakhtiari continued. “As a teammate, I would be idiotic to say that I don’t want the MVP back.”

Bakhtiari disclosed that despite his and Rodgers’ closeness, he knows very little about the quarterback’s displeasure with the front office. Like everyone else, Bakhtiari will be waiting for the news to break.

“I have just as much of an idea as anyone else does…As time goes on, it will sort itself out, and we’ll all find out.”

In the meantime, Bakhtiari must turn his focus toward recovering from an ACL injury suffered at the end of last season. He declined to put a timetable on his return, but he hopes to return to the All-Pro level he is accustomed to. Optimistically, that includes protecting Green Bay’s franchise quarterback.

 

 

 

Brandon Carwile is a Packers writer who also enjoys watching and breaking down film. Follow him on Twitter @PackerScribe.

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5 points

Comments (22)

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Jonathan Spader's picture

June 09, 2021 at 12:17 pm

For a man as wealthy as Rodgers $600k is a drop in the bucket. He has a ton of experience and doesn't need the extra practice time. Here's hoping that he returns to the Packers and takes them to the SB.

Every offseason the media creates Rodgers drama. Mm and Rodgers, MLF amd Rodgers, TT and Rodgers. Can you blame the guy for not saying anything? I'm still hopeful it's being overblown and we have a great season.

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stockholder's picture

June 09, 2021 at 12:39 pm

I won't be there - Rodgers

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Packers0808's picture

June 09, 2021 at 12:52 pm

Was anything else really expected from any long running team mate?

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Alberta_Packer's picture

June 09, 2021 at 02:05 pm

I think there's been a significant shift with Rodgers inner circle of team-friends - from expressing optimism and offering percentages as to his return (like 75%) in just a short few weeks ago to - to now - with careful, non-committal, open-ended and banal statements. Listening to Adams and Bakhtiari - it seems that their statements were somewhat scripted and rehearsed - like a PR release. My guess is that they know more than what they are saying - like Rodgers is not coming back and mum's the word for now. At least that's where my $2 wager is on.

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greengold's picture

June 09, 2021 at 02:12 pm

I got that sense too, from both players.

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packer132's picture

June 09, 2021 at 08:49 pm

I thought that Rodgers was dug in and a small chance of returning. Today James Jones said he talks with Aaron all the time and feels that they can get it fixed. I'm sure Rodgers let him say a little but not too much. It sounds like he wants a say in who is cut or released and not added/drafted. Thats a big thing if he has input on the final roster. I have changed my viewpoint a few times, and now think a trade is off and he will play. My $2 is on Rodgers under center for week #1.

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Alberta_Packer's picture

June 09, 2021 at 11:20 pm

I saw the Jones article as well. So not Love, not the contract, not Gutekunst...? Rodgers stance gets more ridiculous by the day. Apparently he wants to be an associate GM - except the Packers have that position capably filled. So what can he offer? A voice for his old football pals who are near the end of their careers? What else, that Gutekunst and his staff haven't already seen and assessed? I'll be upping my wager that Rodgers will not be with the Packers on opening day.

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Guam's picture

June 10, 2021 at 09:12 am

A_P: If Rodgers wants actual control versus just input, that is a bridge too far and your wager should be profitable. No team can relinquish control over personnel decisions to a player. If Rodgers would settle for input, he might return to the Packers.

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greengold's picture

June 10, 2021 at 10:38 am

Man, I mentioned over a month ago the most plausible explanation is his recent engagement to Shailene Woodley, and having to spend 179 days per year in Green Bay, Wisconsin is untenable for the life they are establishing together. It has nothing to do with the team, the fans, the greater Green Bay community. It has everything to do with them wanting to spend their time in a different locale, a place that suits their lifestyle.

Listen to the words everyone with any character or closeness to AR has said, including AR himself, and this narrative fits the best and makes the most sense.

He doesn't want control, money, years, etc. There is nothing the Packers can offer to make him return, if he holds to this stance. They've chosen a different path that has nothing to do with the Green Bay Packers.

I'll bet everything on this, and I agree he is not coming back to the Packers.

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Alberta_Packer's picture

June 10, 2021 at 11:08 am

You know gg, that we are in agreement with Woodley-Rodgers-GBP relationship disorder. All Rodgers is doing is trading in the older, dependable, solid family vehicle for a shiny new, 2-seater sports car. In other words, the GBP is being dumped. The sum total of Rodgers efforts to date - is trying not to look like a total dick while he does it - which isn't working that well.

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LeotisHarris's picture

June 09, 2021 at 04:02 pm

Devante and David have his back. No, I wouldn't expect a different public statement from either player. What frosts my azz is they have Rodger's back, but he sure as hell doesn't have their backs. Made me angry to see David on the sidelines at OTAs, working to rehab his knee, while 12 was relaxing in Hawaii. I'm guessing he could have done that rehab without traveling to Green Bay, but he was there with his teammates. Like any good teammate committed to winning. You show the eff up!

Yes, these are professional athletes, but at any level those who show up and do the work resent those not fully committed. It's time for Aaron to be lovingly set free in return for a boatload of draft picks and as many quality players as the Packers can get.

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Thegreatreynoldo's picture

June 10, 2021 at 04:34 am

Bakh has 700,000 reasons to show up for OTAs plus fine money.

In a related note, JuWuan James filed a grievance over his release that is probably a long shot.

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KnockTheSnotOutOfYou's picture

June 09, 2021 at 06:51 pm

Hey David Bakhtiari is our starting LT and All Pro at his position. However, I am surprised he doesnt look to be in better shape. I know he is an OL but he also was supposed to be killing his workouts. Remember the Michael Daniel's workout videos?

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Savage57's picture

June 10, 2021 at 05:20 am

"Better shape" for an offensive lineman doesn't look the same as it does for players at other positions, save defensive lineman.

Anchors have to be heavy to have holding power.

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scullyitsme's picture

June 10, 2021 at 08:56 am

I don’t think Rodgers is coming back, think it’s slim to none. The only thing that can save the front office from losing their jobs in two years is love. If love wins,we all win as packer fans, if not we all lose, some more than others

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Difer's picture

June 10, 2021 at 10:18 am

Agree Rodgers is not coming back. However, as long as FO can field teams with winning records which still have a shot at the playoffs in late December, that will be "good enough" for Mark Murphy and the Executive Board. Any talk about building a "SB contender" is to keep Packer fans excited.

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Alberta_Packer's picture

June 10, 2021 at 02:01 pm

What should not be overlooked is that Rodgers is still legally obligated to play for the GBP for 3 more years. If he refuses, then he is in breach of his contract, with team and legal action as a result (like forfeiture of his $500,000 OTA bonus). Love was intended as a contingency plan - not as an immediate replacement to Rodgers. Gutekunst and the FO are quite safe.

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PatrickGB's picture

June 10, 2021 at 10:51 am

I have friends who make questionable decisions. They remain friends. Yet over time I see less and less of them.

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canadapacker's picture

June 10, 2021 at 12:00 pm

AR is coming back - Just how much is it going to cost the team. I would hope it would be for a long term deal - 4 guaranteed money contract. But I dont think so - hope so but dont think so. I am in AR's corner - he got disrespected - not by not taking a receiver with the first pick - but by taking his apparent replacement - or at the very very least - not being on the phone with him at the time - saying what they were going to do in taking Love. For example - we need you to train him to be your back up if you get hurt and if he good and you still want to stay and play - we can pull a Jimmy G and get a pick or 2. That would have been the diplomatic thing to do - they didnt disrespect Manning, Brees, Montana etc - first ballot HOF players - players who have been good team players and good if nor great community players both in GB and in Chico. I am getting tired of the prognosticators and talk show hosts etc - We need to focus on getting ready - and even if AR shows up half way through training camp he will be ready. My best guess is he will pull a Brady and either be in a Charger's, 49ers (2 year deal) after this year as the young guy will struggle and then be able to learn from AR or be a bust. Think it is an outside chance that he wil be in Denver and definitely wont pull a Farve and go to Minnie so he can stick it to Gute and Murph.

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Alberta_Packer's picture

June 11, 2021 at 11:20 am

I'm going to revise my opinion on this Rodgers melodrama. While I think it's best that he moves on - so that a new era for the GBP can begin - I cannot dismiss the scenario that he shows up on Day 1 for training camp. Because the reality is that he has very little leverage but to hold-out - which would be a breach of contract. So what's all this off-season theatre then been about? He says (through James Jones) that it's not about contract, Jordan Love, the GM... So what is it? More than anything, it seems that it is simply the sophomoric antics of a self-centred individual who feels that he's been slighted in some dubious way - so he's going to wreak some revenge on his perceived "slighters." He could very well show up on Day 1 of training camp pretending that it's business as usual - so let's go gang! If so, feeble.

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greengold's picture

June 11, 2021 at 12:04 pm

I don't think so. He's out. You know how moves are set up in chess, they haven't been played, yet, but you can see them being played? You can see the conclusion of the game is already set in motion? I believe that is where we are at right now with Aaron Rodgers and a trade to the Broncos. That trade will likely include Davante Adams.

Rob Demovsky reported today that Davante was held out of team drills again yesterday, the last day of Mandatory Minicamp. Look at the language used in his presser, and yeah, he's ready for TC and a new contract. The only question is, "where?" Very open ended, with words carefully chosen.

DEN has held a bunch of players out throughout their entire 3 weeks of OTAs/Minicamps. OLB Bradley Chubb, DE Shelby Harris, NT Mike Purcell, ILB Baron Browning and most recently, TE Noah Fant and CB Ronald Darby.

I suspect the finishing touches are being worked out now.

If a trade is going to be made between these two teams, it will happen in this next month before TC starts.

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Alberta_Packer's picture

June 11, 2021 at 12:06 pm

My greatest wish is that Rodgers is sold in a land, far, far away. However I had an un-nerving vision of Rodgers, at Lambeau, on July 26th - " There he stood at the locker room door - oozing smarm from every pore."

In the meantime, let's go with your vision.

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