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David Bakhtiari: 'Disrespectful' to say Packers are not rebuilding after Aaron Rodgers trade

Green Bay stalwart left tackle David Bakhtiari took some heat earlier this offseason for suggesting the Packers are in rebuild mode with Jordan Love taking over for Aaron Rodgers.

After clarifying those April comments, Bakhtiari again stood firm this week on his assessment of the transition at the most important position in sports.

"How I look at is, it's disrespectful to say you're not rebuilding off a Hall of Fame quarterback," Bakhtiari said on Wednesday, via ESPN. "It was disrespectful to say you weren't rebuilding off of Brett Favre when you moved to Aaron. No one knew Aaron and what he was going to be, so I'm not going to sit here and like pull back those words because that is, when you look at how it's been building, how we were chasing after it and the cap -- there was a bunch of situations that can definitely allude to it -- we have a young team."

The word "rebuild" comes with the connotation of losing, as most "rebuilding" teams have stripped down the parts in hopes of building from scratch. Bakhtiari, however, insisted Wednesday that in his mind rebuilding doesn't mean losing. It's more of a transition.

"I think the Seahawks rebuild off of Russell [Wilson], look at how that turned out," Bakhtiari said. "I can always give you the other side of the coin -- I don't know it off the top of my head -- but that's how I look at and it's a simple way to put it. We can slice it, cut it, make it look like who wants to be the hero or the villain on that word, but that's really what I mean."

Most took Bakhtiari's initial rebuild comments to indicate that he'd like to join his close friend Rodgers in exiting Green Bay. The 31-year-old, however, insists that's not the case, and the Packers are counting on him to help win games in 2023.

"I'm sure it is difficult [for Bakhtiari]," Packers head coach Matt LaFleur said. "Anytime you have somebody that you're invested in and are close with and they move on, it is hard. But I think he's done an outstanding job. He's been a really positive influence especially in the offensive line room. When we got in there, he's always giving coaching points and tips to the guys, so I think he's done a really good job."

Green Bay is transitioning to an unknown under center and is young on offense, but it's not a talentless squad with no vision for how to succeed with the pieces it has. If Love plays decent in his first season as a full-time starter, the Packers should still remain in the hunt in a winnable NFC North.

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