As the Denver Broncos continue to monitor Aaron Rodgers' availability with an eye on a blockbuster trade, the Green Bay Packers hedged against the absence — short- or long-term — of its disenchanted superstar.
ESPN reported Wednesday that Green Bay signed former Broncos quarterback Blake Bortles to a one-year contract.
To be clear: Bortles' signing appears less about the future Hall-of-Famer and more about simple roster logistics. The Packers have but a single non-Rodgers QB under contract (2020 first-round pick Jordan Love) heading into the voluntary portion of their offseason program, which begins on May 24 with Organized Team Activities.
Nevertheless, Bortles reunites with offensive coordinator Nathaniel Hackett, his position coach in Jacksonville, after spending much of 2020 in Denver, functioning as insurance behind Drew Lock, Jeff Driskel, and Brett Rypien. He was also the designated "quarantine quarterback" during the COVID-19 pandemic.
Bortles, who never took a snap for the Broncos and eventually was moved to the practice squad, finished last season on the Los Angeles Rams' active roster.
The Broncos, meanwhile, are returning Lock and Rypien and added veteran Teddy Bridgewater to the 2021 QB room. New general manager George Paton expects to field an open competition between Lock and Bridgewater for the right to start.
At the same time, Paton is keeping close watch on the status of Rodgers, who reportedly is attempting to strong-arm his way out of Wisconsin, disgruntled by the management. NFL Network reported Monday there's a "real possibility" that Denver — a "legitimate landing spot" — acquires the reigning league MVP in the coming weeks.
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