Bortles and Hackett will reunite with the Packers amid some QB turbulence. Rodgers is seeking a Green Bay exit, and Bortles does bring substantial experience as a starter. He has started 73 of the 78 games he has played. In addition to working with Hackett previously, Bortles has experience in the offense Matt LaFleur uses, having spent 2019 and some of 2020 with Sean McVay in L.A.
4:21pm: Jordan Love is the only Packers quarterback expected to take part in voluntary on-field workouts, which the team will begin next week. As it stands, the 2020 first-round pick is set to be the only Green Bay QB at minicamp as well.
This has led the team to show interest in free agent passers. Blake Bortles is now on the team’s radar, with the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel’s Tom Silverstein noting (via Twitter) the Packers are pursuing the former Jaguars starter. A visit is likely. The Packers are set to meet with Chad Kelly and former Falcons backup Kurt Benkert, but Bortles obviously has far more experience.
Bortles spent last season with the Broncos and Rams. Despite Denver’s historic issues at quarterback, the five-year Jacksonville starter did not see action in 2020. He threw two passes in 2019, working as Jared Goff‘s backup in Los Angeles.
The former No. 3 overall pick would be a natural fit in Green Bay. Current Packers offensive coordinator Nathaniel Hackett worked as Bortles’ Jags OC for nearly four years. After taking over the starting job early in his rookie season, Bortles held it until the 2018 season. The Jags were on the doorstep of Super Bowl LII with Bortles, though their talented defense played a notable role in the team reaching that point, but the quarterback’s subsequent extension quickly backfired. Jacksonville ate considerable dead money to cut Bortles in 2019.
Even if Bortles signs, the Packers are likely to add a UDFA, Silverstein adds (on Twitter). The rookie passer would profile as a camp arm behind Love and whichever veteran the team signs. With Aaron Rodgers still at odds with his team of 16 years, the Packers are in an unusual place at quarterback. They opted not to bring back multiyear backup Tim Boyle, bumping Love up to their QB2 role. Should Rodgers stick to his guns, Love may be summoned to action sooner than the team expected. Bortles or another veteran would be needed in this case.
Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.