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Current State Of The Position
When the Week 18 loss against the Detroit Lions ended, every football fan saw Green Bay Packers quarterback Aaron Rodgers walk off the field, arm around his best friend and wide receiver Randall Cobb. Unlike in recent years, Green Bay’s season ended before the postseason began. After signing him to an extension in 2022, the lover’s quarrel between Rodgers and the Green Bay front office begins once again.
Back when the Packers were 4-8, Packers fans from all over were starting to wonder what Green Bay was going to do. A back-to-back MVP quarterback that their team just extended was playing hurt and showing signs of regression. In a season that was seemingly washed, many fans, myself included, were hoping the Packers would take a deeper look at 2020 first-round backup quarterback Jordan Love. Whether it meant ending Rodgers’s season or just letting him heal from his thumb injury, many fans thought that regardless of their recent commitment to Aaron, Green Bay needed to learn more about Jordan Love.
For the sake of speculation, let’s say Aaron Rodgers departs from the team. Green Bay will have to be in the market for a new backup QB. They could draft someone in the late rounds, but I’ll feel better writing about that once we get closer to draft season. From a locker room chemistry perspective, Green Bay would feel more confident having a veteran backup rather than teaching another young guy. Exciting times in the Green Bay quarterback room have begun, let’s take a look at who could fill in as QB2.
Minshew, an interesting character of sorts, would be LOVED in Green Bay. The mustache, the overwhelming amount of denim and leather, living in a van during the offseason, how could you not love him? Bringing #MinshewMania to a football-loving city like Green Bay is an excellent marketing tactic.
As for on-field production, Gardner Minshew hasn’t been a great QB but he’s been more than serviceable. Since he was drafted by Jacksonville in the 2019 Draft, he’s thrown for 6632 yards, 44 touchdowns, and 15 interceptions. Most of those stats were before his short tenure in Jacksonville ended with him being traded to the Philadelphia Eagles, forcing him into a backup role behind MVP candidate QB Jalen Hurts.
Minshew is a near-perfect veteran pickup for Green Bay. With the persona and the energy he brings to the team, I’m certain he’d be loved by many in the green and gold. While he doesn’t have the rocket arm that Packers fans are used to, if he’s asked to step in as the starting quarterback, he’s fit to play in a LaFleur-lead RPO heavy offense.
I know when most people think of Drew Lock, they don’t think of a “high-value veteran quarterback.” They instead think of his lackluster career in Denver and being beaten out for the starting job in Seattle by Geno Smith. Putting up 4,740 yards, 25 touchdowns, and 20 interceptions in his career, Drew Lock is far from what one would say is an “accomplished veteran.” Yet, as he’s been listed as the starter for a franchise before the Denver Broncos, he does provide a mentor with experience to Jordan Love.
Most if not all Packers fans remember when Teddy Bridgewater played for the Minnesota Vikings. After an awful ACL injury in 2016, Minnesota decided to move on. Since then, Teddy has bounced around the league, spending time with the Jets, Saints, and Panthers, and is currently the backup for the Miami Dolphins. Bridgewater is a well-respected veteran in the NFL and has played well when called to action.
Late in his career, Bridgewater would be a great veteran presence in the locker room. Cheap, willing to accept a backup role, and incredibly smart, Teddy could teach Jordan Love so much about the game while holding a clipboard.
After an up-and-down season with the Washington Commanders, Taylor Heinicke is set to explore free agency. While he could still return to Washington, a place where he’s loved by everybody, I think Heinicke should seek out a different team to continue his career with and there is no team better to seek out than his favorite team as a child, the Green Bay Packers.
At age 29, Taylor has a decision to make. He more than likely will try to find somewhere where he can lock down a starting job and would probably prefer a more expensive contract than others on this list. As of the start of 2023, Green Bay is still in a poor position when it comes to cap space. That likely takes Heinicke out of consideration, but if Taylor wants to play cheap for his childhood favorite team, I’m sure he’d be loved by many.
Where Do We Go From Here?
Once again, nobody knows what is going to happen with Aaron Rodgers and the Green Bay Packers. Could he come back? Yes. Could he retire? He sure could. Is it possible he get’s traded? More now than ever before. While Green Bay waits for Aaron to make his decision, they need to be focused on their future beyond Rodgers and other longtime legends of the game.
Every QB on this list could come in to backup Rodgers if Green Bay were to trade Love instead, although it’s likely they’d draft another QB they believe in. Bringing a veteran in behind Love makes the most sense and is something Green Bay should consider moving forward.