The Green Bay Packers’ search for quarterback talent isn’t over just yet.
According to Aaron Wilson of the Houston Chronicle, the Packers will host former Air Force starting quarterback Donald Hammond III for a workout on Tuesday, giving an opportunity to the undrafted rookie less than two weeks after they signed a pair of backup passers — Blake Bortles and Kurt Benkert — to their offseason roster.
Air Force quarterback Donald Hammond III works out for the Green Bay Packers on Tuesday, per a league source. Air Force’s all-time leader in passing efficiency (164.09) and average per completion (20.6), led team to 11-2 record, No. 21 ranking @airforcefb #Packers #NFL #AirForce
— Aaron Wilson (@AaronWilson_NFL) May 23, 2021
Hammond hasn’t played since the 2019 season, but he was a full-time starter that year who completed 50.5% of his passes (56 of 111) for 1,316 yards with 13 touchdowns and six interceptions. He also punched in another 13 touchdowns on the ground while adding 553 rushing yards, establishing himself as a big-bodied quarterback (6-foot-2, 220 pounds) capable of running a triple-option offense.
The Packers filled the final spot on their 90-man roster when they signed Benkert on May 17 and would need to cut another player first if they decide to sign Hammond.
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Hammond Offers Developmental Option at QB
To be clear, the Packers are not sizing up Hammond with thoughts of him competing for a substantial role with their football team. Even with some raw skill and potential, 6-foot-2, 220-pound quarterback has not played in more than a year and would be fighting an uphill battle from the QB5 spot if Green Bay signed him to their offseason roster.
As things stand now, the Packers could be looking at two different quarterback scenarios when training camp arrives: Either Rodgers returns to lead their team for the 2021 season or he stays away and Jordan Love, their 2020 first-round draft pick, is thrust into the starting role sooner than expected.
The opportunity is a much better one for Bortles and Benkert (and, if signed, Hammond) in the event that Rodgers leaves, but there should be room for a third quarterback on the Packers’ roster even if things get resolved with him. They carried three on their active roster throughout all of 2020 and had housed a third option on their practice squad a year earlier in 2019.
Bortles, a veteran with dozens of NFL starts on his record, would seem to have the inside track to claiming that third spot if the Packers are intent on keeping only one of their camp quarterbacks. Don’t be surprised, though — especially if Rodgers prevents the Packers from needing more veteran experience — if a younger quarterback is left standing as QB3 when the 2021 season begins.
Will Rodgers Clear Air on Monday Night?
Rodgers is currently scheduled to appear on ESPN’s SportsCenter on Monday at 10 p.m. CT as one of several guests on Kenny Mayne’s final episode, so anticipation has naturally started to build about what he might say about his ongoing situation with the Packers, good or bad, that can shed some light on the precise details.
As of Sunday night, Rodgers has said next-to-nothing about his alleged problems with the Packers. He declined to say much at the Kentucky Derby on May 1 other than telling NBC’s Mike Tirico he was “disappointed that news has come out of this rift with the Packers.” He also hasn’t done an on-camera interview about football since appearing on The Pat McAfee Show on April 2 — and that was mostly about his guest-hosting duties on Jeopardy!
And yet, it seems near impossible that Rodgers will make it through a farewell segment with a renowned sports media personality on Monday night without saying
something anything about his current predicament with the Packers. The entire issue could be put to bed with a few, undisputable words from Rodgers … or it could be made so much worse.