Green Bay restructured his deal to remove the 2023 season and Fox Sports’ Jay Glazer reported that if Rodgers still wants out after 2021, the Packers will trade him.
Aaron Rodgers’ reworked deal now is signed, per sources. Here are the “on paper” concessions in the new contract:
🏈2023 year is voided.
🏈Forfeiture provisions were removed from the contract, preventing the Packers from pursuing prorated portions of Rodgers’ signing bonus.
— Adam Schefter (@AdamSchefter) July 29, 2021
If Rodgers does truly leave, the next man up is Jordan Love.
The Packers selected him with the No. 26 overall pick in the 2020 NFL Draft.
He has yet to throw a regular season NFL pass.
Love completed 12-of-17 passes for 122 yards and a touchdown in the Packers’ Week 1 preseason loss to the Houston Texans before leaving with a shoulder injury.
Jordan Love 🤝 Kylin Hill
— FOX Sports: NFL (@NFLonFOX) August 15, 2021
Behind Love is Kurt Benkert, who is on a one-year, $750,000 contract.
If Rodgers leaves, both Packers fans and the front office would be counting on Love to step up as the team’s new starting quarterback.
However, it would be a shock if they didn’t bring in a veteran to either push or battle Love for the starting role.
If Green Bay does sign a free agent quarterback, these veterans make the most sense.
3. Ryan Fitzpatrick
Ryan Fitzpatrick is currently on a one-year, $10 million deal with the Washington Football Team.
He is a 16-year NFL veteran and has played for the then St. Louis Rams, Cincinnati Bengals, Buffalo Bills, Tennessee Titans, Houston Texans, New York Jets, Tampa Bay Buccaneers and Miami Dolphins.
Throughout his career, Fitzpatrick has thrown for 34,977 yards and a 223/169 TD/INT ratio.
He has added 2,621 rushing yards and 21 touchdowns on the ground over 574 carries.
Last season, Fitzpatrick was a member of the Dolphins and started seven games for Miami; going 4-3.
He threw for 2,091 yards, 13 touchdowns, and eight interceptions, adding 151 rushing yards and two additional scores.
Fitzpatrick certainly isn’t a star quarterback in the NFL.
In those 16 years, he still hasn’t been voted to a Pro Bowl.
Overall, he has just a 59-86-1 career record.
However, Fitzpatrick has proven to be a known commodity and a proven force for numerous teams in the NFL.
He wouldn’t come in and blow the roof, if there was one, off of Lambeau Field.
But he would be a steady presence who wouldn’t necessarily lose games for the Packers either.
He would be the perfect veteran for Love as he could serve as a backup or the team’s starter if necessary.
Any quarterback the Packers bring in won’t live up to Rodgers.
But Fitzpatrick could be the decent patch the Packers need to mend the quarterback room.
2. Teddy Bridgewater
Teddy Bridgewater has had quite the strange career in the NFL.
He was a first-round pick of the Minnesota Vikings in 2014.
Bridgewater helped the Vikings win the 2015 NFC North crown and was named to the 2015 Pro Bowl.
However, a severe leg injury forced him to miss almost two seasons.
He didn’t play in 2016 and appeared in just one game in 2017.
From there, Bridgewater spent time with the Jets, New Orleans Saints and Carolina Panthers before he was dealt to the Denver Broncos this offseason.
Last season, Bridgewater started 15 games for the Panthers, although the team went just 4-11.
He completed 69.1 percent of his passes for 3,733 yards and a 15/10 TD/INT ratio.
After being dealt to Denver, Bridgewater is now in a quarterback battle with Drew Lock for the starting role.
In the team’s Week 1, 33-6 preseason win over the Vikings, Bridgewater completed seven-of-eight passes for 74 yards and a touchdown.
— NFL Unlimited (@NFLUnlimited) August 14, 2021
At this stage of his career, Bridgewater has become a more methodical quarterback.
Rather than trying to make big plays, he is more focused on moving the ball down the field and putting his team in a position to score.
Whether Bridgewater wins the Broncos’ starting job or not, it would set him up perfectly with the Packers.
If he wins, then perhaps the Packers would land a quarterback with some gas left in the tank.
But if he is Lock’s backup, he will understand what the role means and how he could best help Love get acclimated to the NFL.
After all he has gone through in his career, there are worse guys Love could learn the game of football from than Bridgewater.
1. Jameis Winston
Heading into Week 2 of the preseason, it looks like there is no clear favorite.
Winston has been in the NFL for the past six seasons, spending the first five with the Buccaneers before joining the Saints last season.
He has thrown for 19,812 yards, 121 touchdowns, and 88 interceptions while rushing for 1,038 yards and an additional 10 scores.
He was voted to the 2015 Pro Bowl.
Winston has shown flashes of brilliance while also playing sporadic, turnover-heavy football at times.
In 2019 alone, the last season he was the Bucs’ starting quarterback, Winston ranked both first in passing yards (5,109) and interceptions (30).
He was the only quarterback to throw for more than 5,000 yards but also one of only three quarterbacks to throw more than 20 picks; he was the only one with more than 21.
With the Packers, Winston can fill one of two roles.
He served as the backup under Drew Brees last season and knows what that role entails.
Green Bay could use Winston to help propel Love while having a talented quarterback available if Love struggles or suffers an injury.
But Winston has proven that if he limits the mistakes, he can be a starting quarterback in the NFL.
If the Packers feel Love can’t lead them to the playoffs, perhaps they turn to Winston.
Green Bay could take a chance on Winston’s play-making ability and hope he can return to form to help the Packers stay in contention without Rodgers.