Reviewing the Green Bay Packers’ quarterbacks ahead of an important offseason.
Packers fans didn’t need to watch how the 2017 season unfolded to understand how important Aaron Rodgers is to the franchise. But his absence exposed a number of cracks on the roster, resulting in the team’s first playoff-less season in almost a decade.
Rodgers’ return will help make the Packers a Super Bowl contender again in 2018, but general manager Brian Gutekunst has some decisions to make at the position.
It starts with Brett Hundley, who struggled as the starter while Rodgers was out.
Time for a new backup?
Wins and losses belong to the team, not just the quarterback. Sure, having Rodgers has helped the Packers win far more games than they’ve lost. On the flip side, the decline in performance once Hundley took the reins only further highlights the importance of the position.
In Hundley’s nine starts, the Packers went 3-6. But it could have been much worse.
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They were fortunate to beat the Buccaneers and Browns. At home to Tampa Bay, whose pass defense ranked dead last in the NFL, Hundley threw for just 84 yards, no touchdowns and an interception.
Jamaal Williams kept the offense moving, and the defense made big plays when it needed to.
It quickly became clear the Packers couldn’t rely on Hundley. They instead needed the rest of the team to step up in order to win games.
Inexperience likely played a part in Hundley’s struggles, but he had three years of preparation as the backup.
Gutekunst should be in the market for a new backup behind Rodgers. Maybe he cant tempt Josh McCown to sign as the backup, assuming he’s not offered a starting gig elsewhere.
An eye on the future?
With Rodgers recently turning 34-years-old, is it time to begin the conversation about drafting his successor?
While it shouldn’t be a priority, if a quarterback Gutekunst loves falls to No. 14, it wouldn’t be a huge surprise to see him pull a Ted Thompson and select him.
Thompson of course used his first pick as general manager to select Rodgers, despite the team finishing 10-6 the season prior with a 35-year-old Brett Favre running the show.
For that to happen Gutekunst would have to believe a first-round quarterback could one day become the starter. It’s not often a player with Rodgers’ potential drops on draft day.
In all likelihood, the Packers will select a late-round passer to develop as the backup. But if one of the top prospects falls to No. 14 and Gutekunst loves him, now might be the time to prepare for the future.