Packers GM Brian Gutekunst says David Bakhtiari not being traded

Bart Scott says David Bakhtiari should leave Packers and join Jets (1:32)

Bart Scott says David Bakhtiari departing the Packers for the Jets could be beneficial for both teams. (1:32)

GREEN BAY, Wis. -- David Bakhtiari isn't going to the New York Jets -- or anywhere else. And Jordan Love is going to keep playing in the preseason.

Green Bay Packers general manager Brian Gutekunst was emphatic about the first part and admittedly somewhat nervous about the second when he spoke to reporters on Friday.

It was clear he wanted to silence any talk that Bakhtiari could join Aaron Rodgers and the cast of other former Packers with the Jets. Bakhtiari is one of the only players from Rodgers' inner circle who is still in Green Bay, and the Jets might need help on the offensive line.

"First off all, we're not going to trade David," Gutekunst said. "So let's just get that out of the way because I know there's been a little bit of chatter about that, and it's not going to happen."

Trading or releasing Bakhtiari should have become moot when the Packers converted $5.5 million of his 2023 base salary and his $9.5 million roster bonus into a combined $15 million signing bonus March 10. It will cost the Packers no more than $1.9 million (a $1.2 million base and up to $700,000 in weekly roster bonuses) to keep him around for this season.

Plus, the Packers believe Bakhtiari can still play at an All-Pro level -- something he's been recognized for five times in his career but not since he tore the ACL in his left knee and underwent four surgeries since the initial injury on Dec. 31, 2020.

"I think Dave's a pro's pro," Gutekunst said. "What he went through was tough -- it was tough on our football team, it was tough on him -- and I think he's really in a good place right now of understanding what he needs to do to get ready to play."

Bakhtiari has been on a light practice schedule during training camp. He did not play in last week's preseason opener at Cincinnati and is not expected to play in Saturday's preseason game against the New England Patriots.

"It's just us managing the knee and all that stuff and making sure that he can get out there on Sundays," Packers offensive coordinator Adam Stenavich said. "He's been such a good pro with keeping his body ready, keeping his mind ready."

However, Bakhtiari might be the only key member of the offense who won't play in the second preseason game. Gutekunst said he's on board with coach Matt LaFleur's decision to play Love against the Patriots. Love played two series against the Bengals, leading one touchdown drive. After a strong showing Wednesday in the first of two joint practices with the Patriots, Love and the No. 1 offense struggled against coach Bill Belichick's defense on the second day.

"It's not just him; it's our entire offense together," Gutekunst said when asked why they're playing Love in the preseason. "We've got a lot of young guys that are seeing some things for the very first time."

Gutekunst said he believes that outweighs the injury risk that comes with exposing starters in the preseason.

"It's not always comfortable," Gutekunst said. "But for me, I just think we need to see what these guys can do together, what we have, so that we can move forward. And without playing, I don't know how you do that.

"In years past, I think we had a bunch of guys that we kind of knew what we had, we knew what they were able to do, the group knew. And even then we started slow, right, coming out. So, I think as we approached it this year, really no matter who was here I think we were going to probably play some in the preseason."