With or without Aaron Rodgers, the Green Bay Packers are planning to sign at least one more quarterback to their 2021 roster this offseason.
General manager Brian Gutekunst told reporters Saturday the Packers “would never go into camp with” just two quarterbacks on their roster and confirmed they intend to sign at least one more passer before training camp. While an undrafted rookie out of the 2021 class could be a logical fit
“We’ll have a third arm, and maybe a fourth arm as we go through,” Gutekunst said Saturday night after the conclusion of the 2021 draft. “We’ve kind of had some conversations before the draft with some veterans and then some rookie guys we’re looking at as well. But we would never go into camp with two. We’ll at least have three, maybe four.”
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New QB Makes Sense Regardless of Rodgers
Adding a new quarterback, veteran or otherwise, to the roster makes sense for the Packers as they navigate a delicate situation with their current franchise quarterback. They aren’t trying to make some statement to Rodgers with whomever they sign, but rather adding a young quarterback who can better populate the room for OTAs and training camp — and provide insurance if Rodgers or injuries make it necessary.
If Rodgers is traded or decides to hold out of training camp, a newcomer quarterback would have an immediate opportunity to compete for the backup job behind the first-round Love. It would also more than likely be two newcomers, as any indication that Rodgers is committed to not being involved would leave the Packers short of their desired quota for camp quarterbacks.
Even if the stars align and Rodgers and the Packers are able to work things out for the 2021 season, there is still logic in signing a third quarterback to the offseason roster. The Packers are regularly taken at least three quarterbacks with them into training camp and, in recent years, have been keen on stashing a passer on their practice squad for emergency circumstances. A place among the reserve is still better than looking for a job.
Which Veteran QBs Remain on the Market?
If the Packers are talking to veteran quarterbacks about a possible fit on their roster alongside both Rodgers and Love, it would have to be someone who is begging for a chance and willing to potentially spend the entire season with the Packers squad as a worst-case scenario. Former Texans backup A.J. McCarron is too pricey (earned $7 million over his last two years in Houston), while others are either not very good (Matt Barkley) or too old (Brian Hoyer).
One interesting option would be the Packers bringing back former backup Brett Hundley. The 28-year-old developed a strong relationship with Rodgers during his three seasons in Green Bay’s room with him from 2015-17 and could be signed as the team’s expected practice-squad passer, especially if the Packers feel it would help appease the reigning MVP.
Former San Francisco 49ers backup Nick Mullens could be another option. He is younger (26) and played a full game against the Packers last season while Jimmy Garoppolo was out of the picture; though, it wasn’t exactly stellar with him going 22-for-35 passing with 291 yards, a touchdown and an interception. Mullens would be cheap and, especially if Rodgers is gone, would give the Packers a serviceable backup behind Love.