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Packers with a Tough Decision to Make on Right Tackle Bryan Bulaga

Packers right tackle Bryan Bulaga, who is recovering from a torn ACL suffered Nov. 6, could be a cap casualty, Michael Cohen of the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel reports.

“Whenever players are injured it’s tough as personnel guys who are not 100 percent sure of when they’re coming back,” Gutekunst said at the annual league meeting. “But I know that he’s been working exceptionally hard. We’ve got a lot of faith that he’s going to come back sooner rather than later, and obviously when Bryan is in there, Bryan is a good player. We’re hoping everything goes well through the rehab process and we get him back as soon as we can.”

At 29, Bulaga is entering the second-to-last season of a five-year, $33.75 million extension that has been rather burdensome for the Packers given the player’s injury woes. When healthy, Bulaga is a solid right tackle who raises the level of performance for the offensive line as a whole. The problem is that he has appeared in just 33 of 48 regular-season games since signing the new deal March 20, 2015, and carries a cap hit of $7.9 million for 2018.

Still, coach Mike McCarthy said he wants Bulaga to be part of the team next season.

“I would hope so,” McCarthy said. “All feedback I’ve been given is (positive). He’s in Florida training, he’s going through his rehab program. But just talking to Dr. (Patrick) McKenzie … he feels that Bryan is right on course.”

Should Gutekunst decide to release Bulaga — or if Bulaga is still recovering at the start of next season — the Packers may have two new faces along the right side of their offensive line. Veteran guard Jahri Evans was viewed as a short-term solution when he signed a one-year deal prior to last year’s draft, and it’s unclear whether the Packers would seriously entertain bringing back a player who turns 35 in September and whose physical abilities have started to wane. There’s also the possibility that, after 12 seasons, Evans simply decides to retire.

With 12 picks in the upcoming draft, the Packers will almost certainly select a lineman or two whose presence could make Bulaga’s future even hazier. It all depends where they rank on Gutekunst’s board.

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One Response to “Packers with a Tough Decision to Make on Right Tackle Bryan Bulaga”

  1. Pandabucks says:

    Bulaga should be asked to take a small pay cut. Just shave a million or so off this season, and he stays. If not, gone.

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