Over 220 games of NFL experience walked out the door for likely the last time at 1265 Lombardi Avenue, as both David Bakhtiari and Aaron Jones are no longer members of the Green Bay Packers. Seven-plus years of being a part of Green Bay’s success is tough to see walk out the door, but it’s a necessary outcome.

With how well the front office tends to draft for the Packers, franchise players tend to stick around for a long time in Titletown. That also creates tough situations like what general manager Brian Gutekunst had to endure this offseason, as he understood why moving on from Bakhtiari and Jones was needed.

David Bakhtiari

david bakhtiari, green bay packers

The 13-year NFL veteran likely had submitted his sizes for a Hall of Fame gold jacket before the fateful New Year’s Eve game in 2020, which altered the future of his NFL career entirely. Having torn his ACL during practice, Bakhtiari has undergone five separate surgeries and countless hours of rehab and treatment.

Things weren’t meant to be for the former Colorado Buffalo, as his time officially came to an end during the 2024 NFL offseason. Having been slated to play out the final year of his four-year, $92 million deal signed back in November 2020, Bakhtiari was instead informed of his release.

His release definitely was a part of money-saving techniques this offseason, as Gutekunst looked to shed some salary to open up enough for the big contracts of Xavier McKinney and Josh Jacobs. With rumors of Bakhtiari joining the New York Jets uncertain, it will be tough to not see no. 69 suiting up in green and gold moving forward.

Aaron Jones

The heart beat of this team ever since being selected from UTEP, Jones is a tough loss for a team that is incredibly young. While this roster will continue to look towards Jordan Love as its leader, Jones will be greatly missed, both for his on-field and off-field contributions.

When he was drafted back in 2017, Jones was seen as a mid-round flier that would bring depth to the running back position. But after seven productive seasons in the green and gold, Jones will leave the franchise as one of the best to ever do it.

His exuberant spirit, his kindness, and how he approached every situation and every person with humility is what will hopefully be instilled on the current Green Bay roster. His leadership and experience can’t be replaced, but his contributions will certainly not be forgotten.

These kind words may be viewed by some as unnecessary, especially since he has now joined the Minnesota Vikings, but it should be nothing but love for Jones, who is onto a different situation that hopefully will benefit him. With our track record of having players depart for divisional rivals, it’s only fair to consider if Jones deserves his flowers – but after everything he gave this franchise, he most certainly does.

Gutekunst, Matt LaFleur, and the rest of the front office and coaching staff made some tough decisions this offseason in moving on from both Bakhtiari and Jones. While the reasoning for these moves will be tied to the future of this from a financial perspective, it doesn’t make things any easier.

Both Bakhtiari and Jones were instrumental in the success that this franchise has experienced during their playing time here, and while we can wish that things ended with each player never leaving, it’s a decision that can benefit both these players and the team.


Mike Johrendt has been an avid fan of the Packers ever since he can remember. He is now a writer at PackersTalk and you can follow him on Twitter at @MJohrendt23