The Green Bay Packers have a new quarterback. According to Adam Schefter of ESPN, the Packers are signing Blake Bortles to a one-year contract. This comes while the team is dealing with Aaron Rodgers being frustrated and telling people in the organization that he would not be back season.
Tom Silverstein of Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel said the Packers have shown interest in Bortles and there was a good chance he would be signed since in-person workouts for the team begins on Monday. With the workouts being voluntary, Silverstein said Jordan Love was the only QB on the roster expected to participate.
Before the signing of Bortles, Love and Rodgers were the only two quarterbacks on the roster. Even if Rodgers wasn’t frustrated with the Packers, the team would have likely signed another quarterback. But with Rodgers’ future with the team uncertain, signing a quarterback with veteran experience was key for the Packers as they go through workouts this spring and in the summer. Additionally, Bortles worked with Packers offensive coordinator Nathaniel Hackett when both were with the Jacksonville Jaguars.
Bortles, 29, was drafted by the Jaguars No. 3 overall in 2018 out of Central Florida. In his rookie season, Bortles threw for 2,908 yards, 11 touchdowns and 17 interceptions. He had a breakout season in 2015, throwing for 4,428 yards, 35 touchdowns and 18 interceptions with an 88.2 passer rating.
But 2017 might be the best season of his career. Bortles led the Jaguars to their first winning season since 2007 (10-6 record) and were one play away from reaching the Super Bowl, losing to the New England Patriots 24-20 in the AFC Championship game. After struggling to get things going in 2018, the Jaguars released Bortles in March 2019. He signed a one-year contract with the Los Angeles Rams shortly after being cut by the Jaguars and saw action in three games. In September 2020, Bortles signed with the Denver Broncos. In December, Bortles was signed from the Broncos practice squad to the Rams to add quarterback depth.
Rodgers has three years remaining on his contract and is reportedly looking to be traded. However, the Packers have said they are not trading Rodgers, which could mean if things don’t get better, Rodgers, who won the NFL MVP award last year, could sit the entire 2021 season.