The Green Bay Packers were pretty happy with their backup quarterback position entering 2017. They had what they presumed would be a future starter somewhere in the NFL in Brett Hundley behind Aaron Rodgers.
In fact, they were so confident in Hundley that they turned down a trade offer for him during the 2017 draft. In doing so, they figured they would increase their compensation by waiting.
And my god, how wrong they were.
Once Aaron Rodgers went down with a broken collarbone, both Hundley and the Packers’ braintrust were exposed. Hundley went 3-6 as a starter and threw 12 interceptions against just nine touchdowns. Not a single one of those touchdowns came in a game at Lambeau Field.
So now we know Brett Hundley is garbage. And now the Packers have no chance of trading him. What’s the next move?
The next move would appear to be to find another option. One that would allow the Packers to compete if Rodgers goes down again. That doesn’t mean another draft pick. It doesn’t mean another unproven guy or preseason hero. It means a veteran.
You really don’t have to look any further than the Minnesota Vikings or Philadelphia Eagles. Both teams won with backup quarterbacks at the helm in 2017 — Case Keenum and Nick Foles, respectively. Both veteran guys with starting experience.
The question is, will the Packers make the move for such a veteran presence? General manager Brian Gutekunst isn’t opposed to it.
“I obviously like our quarterback group quite a bit but I think competition is always a good thing,” Gutekunst said. “If that makes sense, if the right veteran is out there that I think can help bring the group up, then I think we’d certainly consider it.”
Who is the right veteran?
People keep talking to me about Teddy Bridgewater. The Minnesota Vikings do seemingly have a surplus of quarterbacks with Bridgewater, Keenum and Sam Bradford. All of them have started. All three are set to be free agents. Who do the Vikings re-sign?
The smart money says Keenum or Bridgewater, who they drafted in the first round. If the Vikings don’t re-sign Keenum, he will get a starting job elsewhere. So that probably puts the injury-prone Bradford as the best option. Even if Bridgewater is available, he’s not going to be looking to take a backup job.
What I might look for is if the Bills release Tyrod Taylor. He’s inconsistent, but he was able to get that team to the playoffs this season. The Bills will be looking to make a change, however, so Taylor could be available.
Or, here are some other names. Guys who will actually be free agents and would be fine with a backup role: Josh McCown, Ryan Fitzpatrick and, two of my favorites — Scott Tolzien and… wait for it… Jay Cutler!
I mean, the Packers should make a run at Jay Cutler just based on principle, shouldn’t they?
More realistically, I could see them bringing back Scott Tolzien over any of the other options, however. Don’t forget…
Scooter has got some moves!